US vaccine access plagued by deep-rooted racial inequalities – leading macroeconomic influencers
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US vaccine access plagued by deep-rooted racial inequalities – leading macroeconomic influencers

22 Feb 2021 (Last Updated February 22nd, 2021 07:33)

Economists have highlighted the growing disparity in vaccine access and distribution in several cities across the US.

US vaccine access plagued by deep-rooted racial inequalities – leading macroeconomic influencers
The EMA had increased its confirmed order commitment by 80 million vaccine doses last month. Credit: Eric Garcetti.

Covid vaccine access problems have become more prevalent in certain cities, after the expansion of the group of people eligible for a jab.

Adam Tooze

Adam Tooze, a historian and director of the European Institute, shared an article on huge disparities in coronavirus vaccine delivery in the US cities. According to the influencer, vaccine delivery is facing supply constraints, but its allocation is demand driven. As a result, one should get a shot at the earliest possible time.

Another aspect highlighted by the article was were racial inequalities, indicating that worst hit communities and areas were being vaccinated at a slower rate than the rest of the US population.

Analysis suggested that fewer vaccinations were being administered to neighbourhoods where people of colour lived. Experts claim that racial disparities are one of the biggest factors in determining whether someone had received a vaccine shot or not.

This was found to be especially true in Chicago, where a map illustrating vaccine distribution revealed the historic segregation in the city.

Mohamed A El-Erian

Mohamed A El-Erian, a businessman and president of Queens’ College, Cambridge, shared an article on the debate between economists intensifying after the Congress considered Biden’s $1.9tn Covid relief fiscal plan.

Economists such as Olivier Blanchard have cited some key concerns related to the Covid relief plan such as the output gap, the likely effects of the stimulus, and how much inflation an overheating economy can generate.

According to experts, given the supply restrictions caused by Covid-19, $900bn is an overestimate of the gap that could be filled by an increase in demand. The pandemic had severely lowered potential output and will continue to do so for the rest of 2021, they opine. Additionally, considering that the potential output will still be down by 1% this year, relative to where it would have been, then the output gap that could be filled is only $680bn.

John Ashcroft

John Ashcroft, a lawyer and former politician, shared an article on pubs and travel bosses demanding a plan for easing coronavirus lockdowns in England. They have demanded the prime minister to produce a roadmap for easing restrictions, in the midst of rising friction between the government and business leaders.

The travel industry wrote an open letter to the prime minister, stating that they could not wait for the full rollout of the coronavirus vaccination programme before people started to travel again. The industry has also called for recognised vaccine certificates that would allow people to travel before the entire population has been vaccinated.

The industry has also requested the Foreign Office to restore travel guidance based on regional Covid-19 data, to allow people to journey to places where coronavirus infections are low.

In addition, pubs have been infuriated over talks of proposals to open pubs but disallow alcohol or allow outside service only. Friction between the government and the public sector worsened after Boris Johnson’s claims that the hospitality sector still posed a high risk of coronavirus infection.