A new and effective COVID vaccine was announced by Pfizer on November 9. Millions around the world rejoiced at the news; with a more than 90 percent success rate, the Pfizer vaccine shows promise for both saving lives and boosting the suffering U.S. economy. However, economists are not expecting a rapid, profound economic recovery.
“It would be at least a year to go back to pre-crisis levels of GDP,” UBS Chairman Axel Weber said. Furthermore, he estimates another one or two years for the U.S. unemployment rate to reach its pre-COVID level.
Weber attributes the slower-than-expected recovery to the distribution of the vaccine. Although the U.S. has already bought millions of doses, with so many people infected, it will take a considerable amount of time for the general public to have access to the vaccine. Moreover, the “much lower than expected number of vaccinations that can be produced in a year” further delays vaccine distribution, as Pfizer and BioNTech are only estimated to produce 50 million vaccines by the end of 2020.
While the vaccine does show promise for the future, it will take time until the world is free from the weight of COVID. Weber recommends the public to prepare for a long and slow recovery to mass immunization.