A study found that the slow rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign could result in a loss of $2.3 trillion in global GDP over the next three years. It is roughly equal to France’s annual GDP.
The emerging countries will suffer two-thirds of the losses, which will delay their economic catch-up with more developed countries.
“Countries that will not have vaccinated more than 60% of their population by mid-2022 will suffer total GDP losses of 2.3 trillion dollars over 2022-2025,” reports the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which published the study published Wednesday.
Two-thirds of these losses will be borne by emerging countries, causing them to lose economic ground to more developed countries, fueling poverty and increasing the risk of social unrest, says the EIU.
Due to the slow pace of vaccination campaigns, sub-Saharan African countries are projected to lose 2.9% of GDP over the period 2022-2025, compared to only 0.1% for Eastern European countries.
Recovery is delayed
The Asia-Pacific region will lose $1.7 trillion in GDP from slow vaccination, representing the greatest volume loss. EIU predicts that unequal access to vaccines will also delay the economic recovery of poor countries, which will take much longer to return to pre-crisis levels than rich countries.
According to the study, about 60% of the population in the richest countries had received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine by August, compared with only 1% of people in poorer countries. A full vaccination requires two doses.
For Agathe Demarais, director of global forecasting 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 need. The international Covax scheme, intended to ensure that disadvantaged countries have equitable access to vaccines, “has failed” despite its “expectations”, she added.
The EIU study was conducted on about 200 countries, examining forecasts of vaccination campaign schedules and GDP trends.