“While a successful vaccine could indeed give the economy a shot in the arm in 2021, say economists, it will take longer to heal from a historic blow to jobs, investment and businesses—a task complicated by the current surge in infections in much of the West,” WSJ writes.
The Vaccine Race: Pfizer-BioNTech said Monday they are on pace to seek emergency authorization for their vaccine by the end of November. Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca are also in late-stage trials of their Covid-19 vaccines.
The problem is logistics. Even if a vaccine arrives, it could be many months before enough people receive it to “ease the need for lockdown measures that have been recently reimposed across the West.”
A second wave only complicates things. After a surge of new infections, Europe recently locked down, which economists predict could throw the continent’s economy into another contraction. The U.S. is holding out on new measures as strict as Europe’s, and the economy is expected to grow at a slower pace.
Wealthier nations have an advantage here. The U.S., U.K., European Union and Japan have already placed large orders of Pfizer’s vaccine and “will benefit most should Pfizer’s vaccine prove safe.” Poorer countries will have to wait, and the Duke Global Health Innovation Center estimates there won’t be enough vaccines to cover the entire world until 2024.
The arrival of a vaccine does offer some hope.
The Takeaway: Even in a best-case scenario, industries affected by the pandemic, such as hospitality, need support to survive the next few months until people can behave as they once did in public spaces.
See my Daily Read today for more forecasting of a potential pandemic recovery.