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Vaccine could be rolled out by May, while economy gets a shot in the arm

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A health worker displays a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine
currently on phase III clinical trials to be administered. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

A health worker displays a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine currently on phase III clinical trials to be administered. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

AP

A health worker displays a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine currently on phase III clinical trials to be administered. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

The majority of people in Ireland and the EU are expected to be vaccinated against Covid-19 by next May as a battery of new virus treatments are set to become available from next month.

The prediction came in a major economic survey report as Ireland braced for new restrictions from today to control an alarming second phase surge in virus cases.

However, an analysis by UK financial firm Barclays is upbeat about Ireland, Europe and North America shortly reaching a turning point in the pandemic.

It indicated that vaccines are expected to become available from next month from at least three manufacturers.

They are expected to come on stream from six other manufacturers between April and November next year.

Ireland has one of the world's greatest concentrations of pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity, with an economic spin-off expected from any pandemic-ending vaccines.

"A Covid-19 vaccine now seems a question of when, not if," the special outlook report said.

"Phase III results in several high-profile vaccine trials are scheduled for release by early November, and such trials historically have an 85pc chance of approval.

"Governments the world over have invested in production facilities to mass-produce vaccines on approval, and we believe that the majority of the US, the European Union and the UK should be vaccinated by Q2-Q3 2021.

"This is a turnaround from just months ago when hopes for a successful drug were muted.

"It may be the worst of the global pandemic may now be behind us.

Mortality

"Economies across the world continue to re-open, Covid-19 mortality rates have been dropping for some months and fears of healthcare systems being overrun have faded.

"While there is still cause for concern, the world has a much better understanding of the disease than it did during the frantic months of March and April."

Barclays said its economic outlook was effectively "glass half-full", with reasons for optimism despite the turmoil throughout this year.

The firm said a key factor in global outlook could prove to be the outcome of the US presidential election in just over two weeks' time.


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