Latest news

6/recent/ticker-posts

Advertisement

The race to immunize nations

Coronavirus Daily
Bloomberg

Here's the latest news from the global pandemic.

The race to immunize nations

With Covid-19 vaccines coming soon, the countries likely to pull ahead in protecting their populations aren't a big surprise. Britain has become the first Western country to clear a shot, and the U.S.'s $18 billion investment in Operation Warp Speed has also put it in a favorable position.

But the European Union is forecast to trail its peers in immunizing tens of millions of people as vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca near the finish line. That could leave the bloc vulnerable to the pandemic and buoy U.K. efforts to demonstrate it's better off on its own.

The EU will likely have enough vaccine for two-thirds of its population by September 2021, hitting that level more than four months after the U.S. and two months behind the U.K., according to an analysis by London-based research firm Airfinity Ltd. The estimates are based on the supplies governments have secured per capita, production capacity in each region and the expected efficacy of the shots.

Several Western countries are making plans to begin vaccination imminently, which will require close monitoring of safety. Regardless of how soon they start, immunizing 60% to 70% of the population is the critical point, as it may allow societies to safely reopen without the threat of mass disease and inundated health systems.

The European Commission, which has secured almost 2 billion Covid vaccine doses through six supply agreements on behalf of its members, declined to comment directly on whether they're likely to be able to immunize their populations as fast as the U.S. or other nations.

"What matters is to ensure a quick deployment of vaccines which have been deemed safe and effective," the EU's executive arm wrote in a Nov. 30 email, adding that it is working with member-states to ensure they are ready for distribution as soon as available.

Governments across the industrialized world are already under fire for their flailing efforts to revive economies as the pandemic fills hospitals with about 100,000 patients in the U.S. alone. While concerns grow that wealthier nations will move ahead of lower- and middle-income regions, the prospect of parts of the rich world recovering more slowly than others threatens to create additional international friction.

"Suppose the U.S. marches ahead and gets a lot of its population vaccinated faster than in Europe, you can imagine the pressure European politicians are going to come under," said Simon Evenett, a professor of international trade and economic development at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. "As a source of tensions between countries, this really could spiral."—James Paton

Latest podcast

Biden's Pandemic Response Overhaul

One of Joe Biden's first acts as president-elect was to announce a Covid-19 advisory board. On today's episode, a member of that advisory board talks to us about how a Biden White House plans to overhaul the government's Coronavirus response. Get the episode here.

 

What you should read

African Nation Worst Hit by Covid Trails on Shots
South Africa is yet to provide clarity on how it plans to order Covid vaccines.
Here's Where Pfizer's Vaccine Stands in Asia
Quick approval of the shot in U.K. unlikely to speed its availability in Asia.
A Bleak Holiday Ahead for Millions of Americans 
End of federal income support looms for those hit by the coronavirus slump. 
Vaccine Too Late for Landlords Staring Into Abyss
U.K. retail landlords face reality: shot too late for thousands of their stores.
Pandemic Further Entrenches U.S. Gender Gap
More women than men said they have less power to ask for a pay raise. 

Know someone else who would like this newsletter? Have them sign up here.

Have any questions, concerns, or news tips on Covid-19 news? Get in touch or help us cover the story.

Like this newsletter? Subscribe for unlimited access to trusted, data-based journalism in 120 countries around the world and gain expert analysis from exclusive daily newsletters, The Bloomberg Open and The Bloomberg Close.

Post a comment

0 Comments