Vaccine delays in poorer nations threaten advanced economies

Vaccine delays in poorer nations threaten advanced economies

Developed nations’ recovery hit through trade links unless they help more, research finds

Advanced economies face a significant hit to their economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic unless they help developing countries speed up their vaccination programmes, according to a report that will be published by the World Health Organization on Monday.

If the rollout of vaccines in developing countries continues on its current trajectory, advanced economies face output losses of up to $2.4tn — 3.5 per cent of their annual gross domestic product before the pandemic — because of disruptions to global trade and supply chains, the study said.

“The longer we wait to provide vaccines, tests, and treatments to all countries, the faster the virus will take hold, the potential for more variants will emerge, the greater the chance today’s vaccines could become ineffective, and the harder it will be for all countries to recover,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO. “No one is safe until everyone is safe.”

The research illustrates the interconnected nature of the global economic recovery and means that even if the world’s leading nations succeed in vaccinating their vulnerable populations promptly, they still face significant economic vulnerabilities from the pandemic.