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The entire world awaits an effective COVID-19 vaccine or vaccines; this is a given when it comes to health. But it’s also widely agreed that economic and social recovery hangs in the balance. Experts suggest that supplies of a tested and approved vaccine will be limited at first, while we ramp up production and begin widescale distribution. How we, as a society, decide to allocate an initially limited vaccine supply will have significant implications for economic recovery.

Economic recovery depends on global supply chains. We have seen with this pandemic that local economies, even when open, can be paralyzed by supply-chain breakdowns. Consider the toilet-paper drama. It is estimated that in March 2020 toilet paper was out of stock in more than 70 percent of U.S. grocery stores, as well as from online retailers. Most of the world’s supply of toilet paper is made in Brazil. And with a halt in Brazilian production, the closure of many sea ports, and limited maritime cargo shipping (with the top 10 operators accounting for more than 60 percent of the global capacity), people around the world scrambled to find toilet paper. …


Allon Yaroni, PhD

Leveraging data & technology for social impact.

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