COVID-19 Vaccine Update – UK Government Ramps up Vaccinations

Bob Mason

U.K Vaccination Rates

Late last week, the British Government announced an initiative to ramp up vaccination rates in a bid to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

A reintroduction of lockdown measures over the holiday season was a severe blow to the economic outlook.

Approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine, however, provided the UK economy more than a glimmer of hope.

Armed with a UK manufactured vaccine, rather than dependent upon supply from overseas, the UK government changed its battle plan.

As at 12th January, the UK vaccination rate climbed to 4.26 doses per 100 people. This was up from 2.99 as at 10th January.

Expectations are for the number of new cases and COVID-19 related deaths to begin easing.

Coupled with a marked increase in vaccinations, the UK could be in a position to begin easing containment measures before the end of the 1st quarter.

When considering disappointing vaccination rates elsewhere, the UK economy could be one of the 1st out of the blocks…

Vaccination Rates

Over the weekend, the vaccination rate in the UK had stood at 2.99 per 100 people. While the number looked low, only a handful of nations were ahead.

These included Israel at 20.08 per 100, the UAE at 10.11 doses per 100, and Bahrain at 6.01 doses administered per 100.

For the U.S, skepticism towards the vaccine saw the vaccination rate lag at just 2.44 doses per 100 people.

Of greater concern for the incoming Joe Biden, however, will likely be the vaccination rates of below 50% in the worst affected states.

Over the weekend, California and Florida had reported vaccination rates of 31.7% and 44.0% respectively. These fell well short of Connecticut, which had reported a vaccination rate of an impressive 71.8%.

As at the time of writing, the U.S had administered 9.4 million, according to Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker. This is up from 8.02m that had been administered from 14th December until 10th January.

While we have seen an uptick over the last few days, just 36% of shots distributed to states have been administered. This was unchanged from the weekend.

For a full state-by-state breakdown of vaccination rates, please click here.

Impressively, however, COVID-19 vaccines administered globally has shot up from 25.84m doses to 30.57m doses.

As at 12th January, Israel continues to lead the way, with the vaccination rate climbing to 20.67%.

The UAE remains a distant second, with 11.87 doses per 100, with Bahrain’s vaccination rate standing at 6.24 per 100 as at 11th January.

EU Vaccination Rates

While we have seen vaccination rates on the rise in the UK, the EU remains a major laggard.

As at 12th January, the EU’s rate of vaccination stood at just 0.72 doses administered per 100 people.

The figures are according to the Bloomberg COVID-19 tracker.

Amongst the worst affected member states, France continued to trail significantly. As at 12th January, France had a vaccination rate of 0.29 doses per 100 people. This compared with a vaccination rate of 1.25 for Italy and 1.05 for Spain.

Comparing the rates to 11th January, the latest figures should remain a concern.

France had a vaccination rate of a woeful 0.14 doses per 100 people over the weekend. With the French Presidential Election next year, pressure on Macron is building.

Trailing the EU on vaccination rates will likely deliver more economic woes. While voters have a short memory, few will likely forget the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Latest COVID-19 Numbers

At the time of writing, there were a total of 92,126,741 confirmed COVID-19 cases globally and 1,972.902 related deaths.

By geography, the U.S had reported 23,369,732 cases, with India reporting 10,495,816 cases.

Brazil reported the 3rd highest, with 8,195,637 cases, followed by Russia (3,471,053) and the UK (3,164,051).

France (2,806,590), Italy (2,303,263), Spain (2,137,220), and Germany (1,960,915) reported a combined 9,207,988 cases.

Looking Ahead

The market remains relatively insensitive towards the relationship between vaccination rates and rise in COVIV-19 cases.

In reality, however, we can expect the relationship to assert itself should certain governments fail to ramp up vaccination rates.

Near-term, the U.S and the Eurozone must be the main areas of focus.

In consideration must be the upward trend in new COVID-19 cases versus vaccination rates.

At present, the numbers are certainly not in favor of a marked economic recovery through the 1st quarter…

This article was originally posted on FX Empire

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