Vaccination Debates at the World Economic Forum

During day two of the World Economic Forum at Davos this past Tuesday, European Commission president Ursula con der Leyen announced the agenda and push towards social media and Tech Giants to publicly release their business models and their algorithms. She wishes for more visibility into these large corporations and their platforms due to the fact that certain decisions and trends on social media need explaining.

Leyen’s uses the incident of former President Trump’s account to be removed from Twitter as an example of how companies are free to act at; will and this incident was a serious violation of an individual’s freedom of expression. She wishes for companies to release their framework of laws for such decisions.

In the World Economic Forum, South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa also urges richer countries to prohibit hoarding vaccines, due to the risks of prolonging the pandemic in other poorer countries. Many African countries are being left behind in the international race of producing and purchasing COVID vaccines. There is deep concern in my third-world countries that richer countries will abuse their economic standpoints and political high grounds to keep the vaccines to themselves, creating a problem of “vaccine nationalism”. This could endanger the recovery of all countries as some countries will still have to travel with citizens that have yet to be vaccinated.

African countries have yet to begin large-scale vaccination preparations, even in South African which is the most industrialized country in the area. This marks Africa as an area that has fallen far behind other world powers in adapting and recovery from this pandemic.

There has also been a rising concern in runaway markets, which could prolong the impact of vaccine distribution and manufacturing internationally. These runaway markets also have the impact of lowering interest rates on asset bubbles and affecting the financial markets if the pandemic continues. It is very clear that the current financial markets globally are very volatile as there is little confidence as to where the pandemic is heading and what will happen to the financial markets in the near future. As the pandemic continues for longer than expected, now reaching more than a year, these financial runaway markets can even affect vaccination turnout rates or create time for mutant strains of the virus to spread.

 

Lucas Zhang was a Finance major at Ohio State University. He writes about finance, mortgages, and technology for Irish Mortgage Brokers.

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