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2021 Predictions: How Will COVID-19 Vaccines Impact the Year?

January 26, 2021 Leave a comment DRI Admin

The DRI International Future Vision Committee has released its 6th Annual Predictions Report, looking ahead to 2021 and its impact on the resilience community. Click here to download the complete report free from the DRI Library, and read on for a prediction on how the Covid-19 vaccine will likely be received worldwide.

Prediction 1: A number of vaccines will be approved and successfully used against Covid-19

Several vaccines will be internationally approved for use, although national drug safety regulators may restrict some. This is almost inevitable given the record-breaking research effort and funding behind vaccine development projects. Different vaccines are likely to have different efficacy levels and risks for various age and health profiles. There may be safety concerns, with distrust in science and conventional medical solutions having a serious impact on vaccination adoption. In particular, parents might be reticent to have their children vaccinated given their low infection rates and reduced health risk from catching the virus. This could slow the essential growth in wide-scale community immunity, which is the long-term solution.

At an international level there is also the issue of who gets which vaccine and who decides priorities. It is certain that wealthy countries will ensure they have adequate supplies for their populations before turning attention to assisting poorer nations. What the global mechanism will be for ensuring that these poorer countries have fair access is unclear at the moment.

The logistics of distribution will be complex, so it will take several months before the average person can get vaccinated, even in the richer countries where vaccines might have been developed or manufactured. This means social restrictions will continue in some form for the foreseeable future with measures ratcheted up or down depending on case numbers.

The pandemic has exposed how badly prepared societies are. There was little or no coherent international response, with many countries closing borders and bidding against each other for ventilators and other medical supplies. In the short-term, the pandemic will encourage greater planning and preparation against future events and an understanding of the need for international cooperation. However, it could spark a new form of nationalism. Many countries are trying to produce more drugs and protective equipment themselves for domestic use and to reduce dependence on the global supply chain.

 Join us for the free online Resilience Excellence Summit Mar. 1-3 to continue the conversation. DRI Future Vision Committee Chair Lyndon Bird will be on hand with a panel on Mar. 2 discussing the findings of these reports and the shape of the coming year.