By Brian Hilyard
Money and Investing Editor
Janet Yellen’s G-20 letter served as an urgent call for a multilateral effort to tackle key issues. The primary focus was to call on countries to act quickly on COVID-19, stating that a global vaccination effort is the strongest stimulus the global economy could receive. She also suggested that the IMF allocate SDRs to enhance liquidity for low-income countries.
While the initial mass distribution of COVID-19 vaccines was underwhelming, they are proving to be as effective in the real world as the clinical trials concluded. Hospitalizations have lessened significantly in areas where much of the local population received their shots.
The two-dose Pfizer vaccine, in particular, has been hailed as a game-changer. A study conducted by the University of Cambridge found that the infection rate among healthcare workers dropped 75% within 12 days of receiving the first shot.
The Biden administration recently ordered 200 million more vaccine doses, bringing the US total to 600 million. 600 million doses could vaccinate 300 million people, which would mean the US would achieve herd immunity (~80% vaccination rate).
Additionally, Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine has been approved by the FDA for emergency use. While it seems to be less effective at first glance, it has better results than its peers when analyzing those who are severely sick. Its single-dose nature also makes it cheaper to manufacture.
Also included in her letter was a call to address climate change, retraining workers for a more digital world, and overcoming international disagreements regarding corporate taxation.
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