Saturday December 04, 2021

‘Covid-19 vaccine inequity to cost global economy $2.3tr’

August 26, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The unequal distribution and delays in inoculating the world against COVID-19 will come with a high price tag, costing the global economy $2.3 trillion, says a new research report.

According to the new study by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), those countries that will not have 60 percent of their population vaccinated by mid-2022 will register GDP losses totalling $2.3 trillion by 2025.

Around 60 percent of the population of high-income countries have received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine at present. In contrast, vaccination campaigns are progressing at a glacial pace in low-income economies as only 1 percent of the poorer population have received at least one dose of vaccine. This means, rich countries have administered 100 times as many vaccines as poorer states have, the EIU said.

According to international media reports, global shortage of raw materials and limited capacities, especially in developing countries, are some of the key reasons for the delays in production of COVID-19 vaccine. According to Our World in Data, 2.55 billion people had received COVID-19 vaccines worldwide by August 23. Around 1.92 billion were partly vaccinated and 630.17 million fully vaccinated against the pandemic.

The EIU study projected that sub-Saharan Africa would lose 2.9 percent of its GDP between 2022 and 2025, followed by 1.4 percent by the Middle East and North Africa (Mena), 0.3 percent by Latin America, 1.3 percent by Asia-Pacific and 0.1 percent by Eastern Europe. “Emerging countries will shoulder around two-thirds of these losses, further delaying their economic convergence with more developed countries… In absolute terms, Asia will be, by far, the most severely affected continent with cumulative projected losses of $1.7 trillion,” said the report. “As a share of GDP, countries in sub-Saharan Africa will register the highest losses totalling three percent of the region’s forecast GDP in 2022-25.”