Covid: slow vaccination could cost 2.3 trillion dollars in global GDP, study finds

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25 August 2021

The slow deployment of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign could lead to a loss of 2.3 trillion dollars in global GDP over the next three years, calculated a study published on Wednesday.

Covid: Slow Vaccination Could Cost $ 2.3 trillion in Global GDP, Study Says A nurse prepares a dose of vaccine against Covid-19, August 17, 2021 in Bombay, India. – AFP / Archives

According to the research center The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) author of the study, “the countries which will have vaccinated less than 60% of their population by mid-2022 will register a total loss of GDP of 2.300 billion dollars , over the period 2022-2025 “, ie a sum which roughly corresponds to the annual GDP of a country like France.

Two-thirds of these losses will be suffered by emerging countries, which will slow their economic catching up with more developed countries, fuel poverty and increase the risk of social unrest in these areas, warns the EIU in its note.

Thus, over the period 2022-2025, the countries of sub-Saharan Africa should lose 2.9% of GDP compared to forecasts because of the slowness of the vaccination campaign, against only 0.1% of loss of GDP. for Eastern European countries.

In volume, the Asia-Pacific region will be the most penalized by the slow vaccination, with 1.700 billion dollars of GDP losses, still over the same period.

Covid-19: vaccination around the world / AFP

Inequality in access to vaccines will also delay the economic recovery of poor countries, which will take much longer to regain their pre-crisis level than rich countries, the EIU predicts.

By the end of August, around 60% of the population in the richest countries had received at least one dose of the anti-Covid vaccine, compared to only 1% of the inhabitants of poor countries, according to this study. Two doses are needed for a complete vaccination.

For Agathe Demarais, director of global forecasts at the EIU and author of the study, there is “little chance” that the gap in access to vaccines will be “closed” because “despite flattering press releases, donations from rich countries cover only a fraction of the needs “.

The international Covax system, intended to guarantee disadvantaged countries fair access to vaccines, “failed”, despite its “(modest) expectations”, she added.

The EIU study was carried out in around 200 countries, examining forecasts of vaccination campaign schedules and forecasts of changes in GDP.

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