It is clear that the world is racing to develop coronavirus vaccines. While pinpointing a date is speculative, it is likely that substantial progress, and perhaps FDA approval, will come during the first half of 2021, with widespread availability before the end of 2021. The big unknown is, to what extent people will step up and get vaccinated. The availability of tested and effective vaccines, along with gradual progress toward herd immunity, see our blog of 21 Oct 2020, (Herd Immunity), represents the best hope for a timely mitigation of the worst impact of Covid-19.
Available data for flu vaccines suggests that uptakes in the U.S. are likely to range between 50% and 65%, over time. World-wide acceptance of flu vaccines has ranged widely, with most developed economies seeing uptakes around 50%. Hopefully, corona virus uptakes will not become the political circus associated with mask use.
Until an effective vaccine and widespread adoption bring Covid-19 to its knees, investors and political leaders are caught up on the horns of a dilemma. Open the country and see infections rise, or lock down and watch the economy tank.
All comments and suggestions are welcome.
Walter J. Kirchberger, CFA