Opinion

Vaccination to save the economy

turismo-vacunas-uruguay

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate against the coronavirus? There is resistance and disinterest in certain sectors in France, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Italy, which has also been noticeable in the United States and Israel.

In the US, the authorities are campaigning "American-style", trying to bring people to the inoculation points by offering hamburgers and fries, free beer, a year's worth of free doughnuts or a cheque for a hundred dollars, and even the paroxysm of getting a marijuana cigarette in exchange.

US President Joe Biden has failed to meet his goal of celebrating the 4th of July with more than 70% of the adult population fully immunised; in fact, his country has stalled: 56% of adults have had both doses (and 68% have had half) so that 150 million people in the US have received the full course. The rest - a majority - remain unprotected.

In France, something similar is happening: only 44% of its adult population (over 18) is fully immunised; anti-vaccinationists, as Macron has repeatedly said, are "selfish" and must be stopped.

The Elysée's strategy is to force all health workers in public and private hospitals, nursing homes and people who care for the sick and elderly at home to take the anti-Covid vaccine directly. They all have until 15 September to have received at least one of the vials.

Other countries are also moving at the same pace, forcing their health workers to be immunised, while the rest of the population is stuck with the health pass to enjoy nightlife and hospitality.

For several weekends now, people opposed to the health pass have been coming out in protest, pointing out that it is a discriminatory document. 

You may remember, dear reader, that I spoke to Adolfo Favieres, ambassador of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and he was very positive about the revival of world tourism.

At the end of June, the EU was already preparing the Digital Green Certificate to facilitate travel within any of the 27 EU countries; and Favieres told me that he hoped it would not end up being an element of exclusion "because not everywhere" is progressing at the same rate of vaccination and above all "because many people are not immunised" and there would be a danger of segregating them.

Well, the worst fears are coming true: what at first would only be used to facilitate travel between EU member states, for those who have been vaccinated or who have passed the infection or have a negative PCR, is on its way to becoming a safe-conduct to even enter a restaurant.

In Europe, the population is experiencing a certain fear because they see how their immediate future depends on getting vaccinated or being vaccinated and often even the companies themselves that are immunising their employees are skipping certain rules imposed by the health authorities themselves, such as not applying the Janssen single dose to people under 40 years of age or respecting the issues of allergies in people.

For Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, the economic recovery of the bloc as a whole will not be put at risk under any circumstances, especially with vaccines already purchased: a volume of 4.4 billion anti-Covid doses purchased from six pharmaceutical companies, with Pfizer-BioNtech alone the European club concluded a contract for 2.4 billion doses, according to data provided by the EU.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), in its economic outlook for July 2021, predicts a world GDP of 6%, driven mainly by the rebound of four countries: India with an expected GDP of 9.5%, followed by China with 8.1% and the United States and the United Kingdom with 7% respectively.

For the euro zone, the IMF forecasts a GDP of 4.6%, driven by Spain, which will be the country with the best prospects: a growth of 6.2%, followed by France with 5.8%, Italy with 4.9% and Germany with 3.6%.

The EU does not want to delay the return to normality because people are reluctant to get vaccinated due to personal beliefs, misinformation or religious issues; above all else, European authorities argue, the common good prevails.