Fact of the Week: One Course of a COVID-19 Vaccine Has an Estimated Economic Benefit of More Than $5,800

Kevin Gawora March 29, 2021
March 29, 2021

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Source: Juan Camilo Castillo, et. al., “Market design to accelerate COVID-19 vaccine supply,” Science, Volume 371, Issue 6534, March 2021.

Commentary: The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated millions of people’s lives and spurred a global economic downturn. And while vaccine development has been rapid, more can be done to increase vaccine production capacity. A team of economists examined the potential economic benefits of the vaccine rollout, as well as what can be done to improve vaccine production and distribution. They have estimated that three billion courses of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine provide global comprehensive benefits of $17.4 trillion dollars, or more than $5,800 per person. Furthermore, an additional billion courses of the vaccine on top of the estimated three billion, if administered in April of this year, would net additional economic benefits of $989 billion. To increase production capacity, policy recommendations for governments include investing in supply chains for intermediate goods used to make vaccines, soliciting bids from firms for capacity expansion, and increasing vaccine trials.