Imagine a future where everyone has been inoculated against COVID-19.
This is the horizon we are all looking towards, but before this becomes a reality, there are many challenges we must dare to address.
A global economic recovery is in sight. For it to succeed, we need faster, more effective vaccination rollout across the world.
Unprecedented investment and R&D have led to the rollout of several vaccines in under a year – an extraordinary achievement.
Now, their production, delivery and administration pose significant logistical challenges. The path from the lab to distribution around the world is complex.
Ensuring the fair distribution of vaccines among and within countries is vital. A failure to do so will mean even deeper economic and social scars.
Providing accurate information about vaccines is also crucial – fake news and rumours have the power to exacerbate citizens’ concerns and can undermine the enormous efforts of health professionals.
Tackling COVID-19 can only be achieved through robust international co-operation and partnerships. We must work together to end the pandemic and build an inclusive and sustainable recovery.
The vital importance of trade
Without trade, there is no vaccine. Many countries are involved in the production and distribution of vaccines, which includes many components ranging from preservatives, vials and syringes to needles, cold boxes and freezers.
Keeping markets open – whether by reducing tariffs, streamlining trade-related processes or ensuring better logistics co-ordination – is vital for a successful vaccine rollout.
Defeating COVID-19 will only be achieved if countries continue to work in partnership in the development, distribution and uptake of vaccines to achieve worldwide immunity. They must:
Ensure transparent and timely communication on vaccines and immunisation campaigns: Address public concerns and rumours about vaccine safety and effectiveness. Invest in education as it plays a key role in helping people understand what evidence to trust. Build partnerships across sectors of society to tackle mis-/disinformation on public health issues.
Increase supply of vaccines: Massively scale up manufacturing capacities, for vaccines and for ancillary products. Enable wider production of already authorised vaccines by sharing IP and technological transfer.
Anticipate potential future bottlenecks at the “delivery to patient” level: Provide more personnel and infrastructure for vaccine delivery and administration. Ensure logistical support for warehousing and distribution in order to avoid waste.
Make distribution both equitable and strategic: Make vaccination programmes that interrupt the spread of new variants the highest priority. Get vaccines to the most vulnerable people, especially in the hardest hit countries and regions. Increase overall vaccine supply to low- and middle-income countries, through more investment in COVAX and through sharing of excess doses as available.
This new series brings together data, analysis and recommendations on a range of topics to address the emerging health, economic and societal crisis. These responses provide guidance on the short-term measures needed in affected sectors, with a specific focus on the vulnerable sectors of society and the economy. Beyond immediate responses, they also aim to provide analysis on the longer-term consequences and impacts of COVID-19, paving the way to recovery with co-ordinated policy responses across countries.
This policy brief uses online job vacancy postings as a partial indicator of the impact of COVID-19 on skills demand in five OECD countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States) between January and November 2020. The pandemic, as well as containment and mitigation measures designed to halt its spread, had a large but heterogeneous impact on the demand for skills.
This paper provides an analysis of the diverse range of SME and entrepreneurship policy measures implemented during the course of a year since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, with a view to identify lessons learned and implications for policy going forward, and assist governments build evidence-based policies to support SME recovery and resilience.
This brief proposes estimates of the loss in on-the-job learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Participation in informal learning due to widespread shutdowns of economic activities is estimated to have decreased by 25%. In the case of non-formal learning the estimate corresponds to 18%. This represents a notable amount of lost learning, and one which may not be easily recovered.
In response to the challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, governments are looking to their Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) to fill any financing gaps left by the private market and to mitigate the impact of the crisis by engaging in both short-term (ST) and medium- and long-term (MLT) trade finance. In the absence of comprehensive data on trade finance, this brief uses OECD surveys and other related indicators to attempt to identify emerging trends.
Following the extraordinarily rapid development of COVID‑19 vaccines, immunisation is underway in many OECD countries. However, demand will continue to outstrip supply for some time and currently, distribution is strongly skewed in favour of high-income countries. This both inequitable and inefficient.
One year after the outbreak of the COVID‑19 crisis, the future looks certainly brighter but it is not yet time to withdraw policy support for people and companies. Even if the headline labour market figures in many countries look better than in Q2 2020, millions of workers are still on job retention schemes and millions of others are unemployed or underemployed.
The crisis unleashed by COVID-19 is affecting every aspect of our lives, from health, jobs and education, to financial security, social relations and trust.
Poverty is rising, and people everywhere are worried about the future. The crisis has heightened social pressures and increased the inequalities that existed before COVID-19. Now is the time to intensify efforts to address these challenges.
Cleaner air quality, healthier water, effective waste management, and enhanced biodiversity protection not only reduce the vulnerability of communities to pandemics and improve resilience, but have the potential to boost economic activity and reduce inequalities.
Green recovery is a win-win strategy and governments have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ensure a sustainable recovery.