Senior officials in the UK and the US are forecasting a strong economic rebound from later this year as both nations ramp up the aggressive vaccination programme for their citizens.
In the UK where over 10 million have received the first jab of the vaccination, the bank of England says the rapid Covid-19 vaccination gramme will help the economy rebound strongly this year.
The UK economy is expected to shrink 4.2% in the first three months of 2021, amid tighter lockdown restrictions to slow the spread of the virus but policymakers expect a rebound in the spring as people become more confident about spending.
It came as the Bank of England held interest rates at 0.1% and the Bank said economic growth was expected to “recover rapidly” in 2021, with a successful vaccination programme supporting a “material recovery in household spending”,
The UK is “getting safer every day” as more people get coronavirus jabs, the vaccines minister says.
In the US White House Covid task force says new cases and hospitalisations are on a downward trajectory, but it is not yet time to relax.
The winter surge of the virus saw January 2021 become the deadliest month of the pandemic in the US, with 95,245 deaths, but both cases and hospitalisations have dipped significantly over the past two weeks.
While acknowledging it was a positive sign, Dr Anthony Fauci – the nation’s top infectious disease specialist – said: “We have to be concerned about the mutants.”
He urged Americans to continue to social distance and wear masks, even adding: “There’s nothing wrong with people wearing two masks. I often, myself, wear two masks.”
Meanwhile, as vaccination rates pick up across the country, the team is also expressing confidence the Biden administration can hit its target of 100 million vaccines in the first 100 days.