The COVID-19 vaccine, Government’s policy approaches, the unvaccinated and the economic and social consequences (Part 2)

The caveat of this article is to lend a perspective on whether the protests against the vaccination drive and/or the hesitation or fear by some and those persons who have opted to not take the vaccines have any credible and justifiable reason(s) to do so.
In the previous column, it was shown that the global economic impact as a result of the health pandemic led to unprecedent adverse economic and social consequences. To this end, after more than one year, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted global supply chains and caused severe economic and financial losses to both advanced economies and emerging economies.
The only viable solution to contain the pandemic and return to some degree of normalcy seems to be achieving herd immunity through the administration of the vaccines. According to the medical professionals, the vaccine would only help to strengthen one’s immunity to the virus, thus increasing one’s chances of surviving the COVID-19 virus if contracted, and not necessarily prevent one from contracting the virus.
So far (most recent data at the time of writing), approximately 4.91 billion doses have been administered globally, representing more than 50% of the global population, wherein 32.3% of the world’s population received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 24.3% of the global population is fully vaccinated. To date, it is worthwhile to highlight that nothing catastrophic (health wise) has occurred to more than half of the global population as a side effect or after-effect of taking the vaccine. Albeit, this author is cognisant of the many speculative theories that permeate the internet, but, more importantly, the sources of that information are far from being credible (scientific) sources.
Similarly, in Guyana, close to half of the population have been administered the vaccine, and nothing catastrophic has been reported to date. In the case of Guyana, close to 300,000 persons have been vaccinated so far, representing about 40% of the population.
Policymakers globally intend to achieve herd immunity because it is seemingly the only viable option to overcome the pandemic and to start rebuilding their economies and to revert to normalcy. Very soon, perhaps, vaccination might become mandatory for travelling purposes. In fact, the global transportation sector, and by extension the global tourism sector, has been the most badly affected.
The reality is such that the economic and social effects of the pandemic can be long- lasting, and the road to recovery is likely to be a very long journey as well. While policymakers globally, from advanced economies through to developing economies, have managed to contain the adverse economic impacts from becoming one of the worst global recessions, this is because policymakers have responded quickly, both on the fiscal and monetary side, to cushion the effects. Notwithstanding, these response measures – which also means governments would have to borrow heavily in some cases – would not be sustainable in the long run if the productive arms of the economies are not put back to work as quickly as possible.
It is therefore against this background that governments, and in the case of Guyana, the private sector bodies, along with the Government is aggressively encouraging everyone to take the COVID-19 vaccine and stop the procrastination or hesitancy.
It is also unfortunate though, that the issue of taking vaccine is being politicised by some persons in that sphere.
Having said that, this author wishes to urge all to get vaccinated, as it is imperative to do so in order to achieve the goal of herd immunity as quickly as possible. This, in turn, will help with a faster recovery of businesses, putting back persons to work who would have lost their jobs, and ultimately, faster recovery of the economy at large.
Please get vaccinated, if you haven’t done so already!

About the Author:
JC Bhagwandin is a financial and economic analyst. The views expressed herein are exclusively his own, and do not necessarily represent those of this newspaper and the institutions he represents. For comments, send to [email protected].