Philippines' economic recovery to hinge on Covid vaccine

·2 min read

BUSINESS leaders are banking on the Covid-19 vaccine as a critical factor to facilitate the country’s economic recovery.

Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Steven Yu said the year will go down in history as a year filled with hope, Covid-19 vaccines and a focus on economic recovery.

“One of the keys to economic recovery is the resumption of domestic and foreign travels and the vaccine will help make this happen. The vaccine will also improve space utilization back to 100 percent, which will lead to a spike in productivity/sales and reduce cost per square meter,” he said.

Around 200 private firms have inked a deal with British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for the acquisition of its vaccine candidate against Covid-19.

“Imagine the efficiency if people don’t have to line up due to social distancing. However, we can continue to wear face masks and constantly wash hands, as a new habit,” he said.

Yu said the second quarter will also be steady and almost similar to the first quarter.

“It will be uneventful but many exciting developments on the vaccine front is expected. There will be millions inoculated worldwide by this time. Nations will prepare to reopen travel and economy. School will still be virtual but the school year is about to end,” he said.

Yu explained that people will start to feel the economic recovery by the third quarter. It is expected that growth will reach as high as eight to 10 percent.

“The vaccines should reach Philippine shores. People and companies will scramble for the vaccines but in an orderly manner. In fact, as of this writing, the group of Joey Concepcion offered us vaccines minimum of 1,000 doses (AstraZeneca). Other details like costs are still not cascaded,” he said.

In a report in November 2020, AstraZeneca said the vaccine showed an efficacy of 90 percent when it was given as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least one month apart.

Efficacy was 62 percent when given as two full doses at least one month apart.

The combined analysis from both dosing regimens resulted in an average efficacy of 70 percent, the company added.

Meanwhile, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Felix Taguiam said safety protocols like the washing of hands and wearing of masks as well as social distancing will remain. (JOB)