IMF warns risks of vaccination slowdown in China | WORLD

At the current rate, providing three doses of COVID vaccines to the population would take “matter of years“, said Helge Bergerhead of the mission of the FMI in China, In an interview. With spending growth yet to recover to pre-pandemic rates, in part because households are wary of COVID infections, “an acceleration of the vaccination campaign would support confidence and, ultimately, consumption“, said.

About 375 million people over the age of 15 in China they have yet to receive three doses of a vaccine, while the daily vaccination rate has fallen below 800,000 a day, according to official data. Studies have shown that three doses of China’s national coronavirus vaccines were almost as effective as mRNA vaccines in preventing serious infections or deaths.

The low rate of complete vaccination, particularly among the elderly, is one of the reasons why China persists with its strict COVID zero policy that imposes restrictions on activity wherever virus cases occur. Only about 64% of Chinese over 60 have received three doses, according to China’s national health commission. China.

New doses of China’s COVID vaccine have fallen below 800,000 a day.

Berger He said the lockdowns in Shanghai and dozens of other cities since March are a key reason the IMF sees “downside risks” in its April projection of gross domestic product (GDP) growth of China of 4.4% this year.

The second quarter will be weak due to lockdowns“, said.

While national data has largely returned to pre-lockdown levels, Berger added that in Shanghai, measures of economic activity monitored by the FMI they have recovered only about 50%.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg project 4.1% growth in China this year and a possible quarter-on-quarter GDP contraction in the April-June period. That makes it unlikely that the government will hit its annual target of around 5.5%.

The FMI has consistently called on Beijing to increase fiscal support for households. Even taking into account the measures announced since April, the fiscal stimulus of China this year is lower in relation to 2020, he added Berger.

The fiscal measures known this year are still small in relation to 2020, even considering that in 2020 the overall impact was greater than this year“, said.

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