Senior Economist, Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asia

As governments, research organizations and pharmaceutical companies race to find viable vaccines for the novel coronavirus, a recent survey published in the Lancet found that only 67 percent of the United States population would accept a vaccine for Covid-19 if it was recommended for them.  Within weeks of the survey, a major vaccine trial at Oxford University was paused after a participant fell ill.  This may confirm the suspicions of those afraid of vaccinations. The pause in the development of the vaccine after one participant out of 30,000 fell ill, however, shows that the researchers were following strict safety protocols.  The question is: once the vaccines hit the market, what then?  From the perspective of maximum social welfare, everyone should be vaccinated.

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