With the vaccines used in the US clearly proving effective, the pandemic is no longer the main source of uncertainty to the outlook. The data is in : infections, hospitalizations and deaths are lower in vaccinated groups. In jurisdictions such as Israel or Gibraltar that have high rates of immunizations, life has returned to nearly normal. In the US, the CDC is gradually relaxing restrictions for fully vaccinated adults.
US immunizations slowed in recent weeks (Chart 1), but this is unlikely to delay the recovery for these reasons:
• Policymakers and employers are stepping up incentives, for instance with tax credits for workers taking leave to get immunized or immunization requirements for employees.
• Red states’ immunizations generally lag blue states’, but red states have recently seen slower cases growth, possibly due to higher immunity from infections. Regardless, red states are less likely to respond to higher cases with more restrictions as long as their healthcare capacity remains ample.
• With the mid-term elections only 18 months away and voters’ lockdown patience exhausted, most state governors will likely be reluctant to reverse the reopening trends.
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