New CEPR Policy Insight - Vaccination strategies in the midst of an epidemic

Friday, October 1, 2021

A new CEPR Policy Insight by Mathias Dewatripont discusses the myriad obstacles faced by European countries in their drive to vaccinate populations against Covid-19, and details the lessons – positive and negative – of the process so far. 

Mathias Dewatripont, Université libre de Bruxelles and CEPR  

Available for download here >>>

The Policy Insight focuses in part on France’s strategy and then applies European-wide comparisons in order to discuss the obstacles faced, and the effectiveness of implemented policies, at various stages of the vaccination drive. 

The author highlights that throughout Europe high percentages of populations are now vaccinated, facilitated by the approval of multiple covid vaccines in record time. The fact that the primary concerns of most European countries at the end of September 2021 are focused on how to comprehensively overcome vaccine hesitancy, and which non-pharmaceutical interventions to maintain as the winter months approach, is testament to the success of the nascent biomedical innovation ecosystem. 

However, this research shows that there are multiple lessons to learn from the processes which were implemented in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as analysis and recommendations on overcoming remaining issues. Key insights that emerge include the importance of EU-level bargaining in the acquisition of vaccine supplies – and its potential for future negotiations in the pharma-sphere; the difficulty of addressing vaccine hesitancy and the importance of clear communication at early stages of the roll-out; the overall success of the ‘gradualist strategy’ in convincing individuals to vaccinate without coercion; and the relative success of introducing corona passes within countries – especially in the case of France – which is made substantially more effective when accompanied by clear communication and political commitment to the measure. 

Overall, this Policy Insight contributes to our understanding of the determinants of vaccination success across and within countries and serves as a useful guide for policymakers throughout Europe. 

Read the Vox Column here >>>

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