The schedule for vaccinating enough people to effectively contain Covid-19 is changing in many countries, raising concerns that much of the world will still face the pandemic and its economic consequences in 2022 or later.
While the United States and some other mostly small countries are making progress in immunizing most of their populations by the end of the summer, health experts and economists conclude that much of the world, including parts of Europe, Asia and Latin America, should expect a longer wait.
From Germany to Mexico, it is very difficult to find enough vaccines. Other countries with low workloads are less inclined to undertake vaccination campaigns and are reluctant to open their borders in the near future.
Only 10 countries are vaccinating more than a third of their population this year. People are being vaccinated at Salisbury Cathedral in the UK in recent days.
At current vaccination rates, only about 10% of the world’s population will have been vaccinated by the end of this year and 21% by the end of 2022,
Say. In total, ten countries plan to vaccinate more than a third of their population this year.
UBS data includes hard-to-reach middle-income countries, such as B. South Africa, where inoculation rates are expected to be painfully slow, although they believe some countries will increase inoculation rates soon.
At current vaccination rates, few countries will vaccinate a large proportion of their population this year.
Daily Covid 19 vaccinations per 100 people in selected countries
The cost-effectiveness of vaccinating a third of the population in 2021
But richer regions such as Europe are also suffering from delays. In recent days, EU officials have noted that their goal of vaccinating 70% of the population by summer does not appear to be achievable, after doses ran out in some places and only 2% of EU residents have been vaccinated so far.
The different rates of vaccine diffusion in the world suggest that, at least in the near future, the economic status of the world’s major economic blocs will be different. The International Monetary Fund forecasts that the U.S. economy could grow 5.1% this year, but the recovery in the eurozone and emerging markets has become more uncertain due to delays in immunization.
The US and a few other countries may be able to enjoy the many benefits of herd immunity, but they will still not be able to fully recover their economies as they wait for other countries to catch up. With the closing of borders around the world, some companies, even in countries where immunization is practiced, will have to rely on domestic demand.
As long as the pandemic terrorizes parts of the world, normal life will not be restored anywhere.
Chief economist, UniCredit Bank.
The uneven distribution of the vaccine also means that Covid-19 could continue to circulate for many years, especially in countries such as Brazil and South Africa, where the number of new infections far exceeds the number of vaccinations. Both have become breeding grounds for new infectious strains. Virologists believe that the virus can mutate over time, including by changing the shape of external protein fragments, which they believe could make our current vaccines less effective.
Many scientists and politicians have predicted that immunization programs will take a long time. Nevertheless, the exceptionally rapid development of vaccines has raised hopes that 2021 will herald a return to normality for much of the world. Economists have begun to revise their forecasts upwards.
Global growth is expected to be strong again this year, and people in many countries, including the US, are likely to see restaurants fill up and other signs of progress. In some places, the recovery is already so strong that the supply of semiconductors is drying up.
Mexico, where gravediggers buried a Covid 19 victim at the Suenos-Eternos pantheon in November, has vaccinated only 0.5% of its population.
Briana Sanchez/Presse Associée
Vaccination campaigns were also initially delayed in the United States and the United Kingdom, but distribution resumed when problems arose.
Elsewhere, however, the outlook is increasingly uncertain.
In a large part of Europe, the borders are closed.
said last week that the country will continue to bar international visitors for much of 2021. A senior Australian health official recently made a similar prediction, partly because it is not clear whether Covid 19 vaccines prevent transmission or whether they only prevent people from getting the serious disease.
Even the world’s fastest immunizing country, Israel, remains isolated, with an indefinite ban on international flights.
The assumption that the 1. January can just burn the old calendar and everything will be fine, is very optimistic.
Economist at ING Group in Singapore.
Brazil, where the number of new infections is growing faster than the number of vaccinations, has become a hotbed of new strains, and hospitals like this one in Manaus are on the front lines.
Sandro Pereira/Zuma Press
The World Bank forecasts that remittances to developing countries – a vital source of livelihood – will fall by 7.5% this year and 7% by 2020. Concert halls and schools may remain closed longer than expected.
Hotels in regions such as Southeast Asia and the Pacific do not expect a full resumption of operations until the middle of next year. Many international students may not be on campus until mid-2022.
I was on the phone with some nice American clients this morning, says Mark Fraenkel, owner of Blue Dive Port Douglas, a dive company in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. I said: We don’t want to book you until 2021. We should just cancel it. ”
Shippers, including DHL, expect air traffic to decrease rather than increase in the first half of this year, as fewer planes will fly to carry freight. Discussions at the United Nations about standardizing air travel by introducing a vaccination passport or even common testing requirements have the UN bureaucracy in their grip.
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The International Air Transport Association predicts that intercontinental air traffic will not return to 2019 levels until 2023.
We’re talking years, not months, and that’s partly because of the two-level inoculation, said Nick Carin, senior vice president of IATA. The governments must agree on a process; we cannot continue to work like this.
The main problem is that it is difficult to increase the production of vaccines quickly. Delays in delivery can have a knock-on effect on other buyers.
In Europe, where some of the best vaccines are produced, there were production problems last month and factories said they couldn’t keep up. Frustrated, the EU on Friday introduced new measures allowing it to block exports to richer countries such as Canada, Japan and the US.
Slow production at the Belgian plant recently prompted Canadian officials to lower a 70% dose of a
the vaccine. The same problems make it difficult for Japan to get the doses needed to vaccinate the population by the end of June – a bottleneck that could mean few fans will attend the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in July.
Estimates of the proportion of population with natural immunity in selected emerging economies
I can’t tell you which month, he said.
the minister responsible for the use of vaccines in Japan, when the general public can be vaccinated.
China also faces challenges. According to the consulting firm Trivium China, although vaccination has begun with locally produced vaccines, without providing a precise timetable for obtaining herd immunity, approvals and production agreements have been slower than expected.
In a sign of trouble, the government’s talent office in Beijing reported that vaccine manufacturer Sinovac is struggling to recruit new employees.
The biggest problem is the scale of production, he said.
The deputy secretary general of the Health Logistics Association, which is part of the state-run China Federation of Logistics and Supply, in an interview. According to production estimates from Chinese vaccine manufacturers, the country will not be able to achieve herd immunity this year, he said.
Trivium estimates that a total of 850 million doses is the highest possible total for China this year, while the administration of at least 1.68 billion doses would be considered a full injection. The Economist Intelligence Unit does not rule out some major Chinese cities gaining collective immunity this year, but believes the country as a whole is unlikely to do so before the end of 2022.
Any slowdown in production in China could affect other countries. Morocco had planned to vaccinate 80% of the population in the coming months, in part with Chinese vaccines, but officials say they have not received all the necessary supplies and blame manufacturers for not keeping pace.
Analysts doubt that other countries can reach their targets. In Indonesia, authorities aim to vaccinate 65% of a population of 270 million in 15 months, which analysts at IMA Asia say will take three to four years. In the Philippines, 70 million people need to be vaccinated this year.
A nurse vaccinates a health worker in Liege, Belgium, because EU officials are concerned that only 2% of EU citizens have been vaccinated.
Francisco Seco/Presse Associée
We doubt that half of the 2021 target can be met, IMA Asia said in a recent report.
Two of the largest countries in Latin America, Brazil and Mexico, have only vaccinated 0.8% and 0.5% of their populations respectively. Argentina was supposed to receive five million doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine in January, but due to production delays in Russia, only 800,000 were delivered.
For the 206 million people in Nigeria, there is only one planned shipment of 100,000 doses expected next month.
Meanwhile, more and more people are postponing their projects.
The 25-year-old London student, who originally planned to start a master’s degree at an Australian university in February. Mr Vacas has decided to delay registration until at least July as the Australian border is closed to most foreign visitors. If the border isn’t opened by July, he could delay it until 2022.
I’m a year behind what I would like to be, Vacas said.
-Chao Deng, Peter Landers and Samantha Pearson contributed to this article.
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