Economists believe that higher vaccinations rates are needed to reduce the Covid-19 burden around the world.

Christophe Barraud

Christophe Barraud, chief economist and strategist at Market Securities, retweeted an article on more than 3.5 billion Covid-19 vaccines doses being administered across 180 countries, with the daily pace accelerating at the rate of 42.9 million doses per day. Data further suggested that approximately 327 million doses had been administered in the US until now, and that an average of one million doses per day were administered last week.

Experts state that enough doses of the vaccines have been administered to fully vaccinate about 19.9% of the global population. However, the distribution has been uneven with higher income countries getting vaccinated more than 30 times faster than the low-income countries.

While the best of Covid-19 vaccines such as Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are considered to be more than 90% effective in fighting the virus, it requires a coordinated effort to stop the pandemic. Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical advisor to the president, has stated that vaccinating 70% to 85% of the US population would allow it to return to normalcy.

On a global level, this could take about another year to achieve global herd immunity. The rate of vaccinations, however, is steadily increasing, and new Covid-19 vaccines and booster doses by new manufacturers are gradually hitting the market.

Fabio Ghironi

Fabio Ghironi, Paul F. Glaser professor in economics at the University of Washington, retweeted an article on firms’ inflation expectations and pricing strategies during Covid-19. It uses a survey of Italian firms that documents how planned price changes and inflation have been driven by economic downturn and competitive pressures.

The pandemic and the measures adopted to fight it have led to an unusual and simultaneous drop in both supply and demand. Scholars have debated extensively on how this shock has impacted firms’ pricing behaviour, which is difficult to predict but of utmost importance as the pandemic struck the US and euro area economies in a persistently low inflation environment.

The survey found that Covid-19 as a demand or supply shock did not significantly impact firms’ pricing strategies nor their inflation expectations. The significant drivers of firms’ planned price changes are instead the persistence of the Covid-19 impact on firms’ business activity and the strength of competitive pressures.

Claudia Sahm

Claudia Sahm, economist and former director of macroeconomic policy at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, retweeted on how the Covid-19 crisis disproportionately impacted the US population with respect to the highest depletion of their cash balance gains.

According to JP Morgan Chase’s data, low-income Black and Latinx families and women of colour experienced the fastest depletion of their cash balance gains in December 2020, with Latinx women alone accounting for 37% of the population and Latinx men accounting for 44%. Meanwhile, 42% of Black women witnessed the fastest depletion, compared to 45% of White women.