SINGAPORE – Asia’s economic recovery could slow as more countries stop using the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, Moody’s Analytics chief Asia-Pacific economist warned.
“It slightly increases the risk Asia is playing in terms of global economic turnaround,” Steve Cochrane told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Tuesday.
Reports of blood clots in some people who received the AstraZeneca Oxford shot resulted in several countries – many of them in Europe – temporarily stopping using the vaccine. The World Health Organization said there was no link between the shot and an increased risk of developing blood clots and is investigating this.
Impact of vaccines on world trade
Cochrane said issues related to the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine could affect world trade – and that’s bad news for Asia, where many economies are dependent on trading activities.
The vaccine is of course a risk. One of the critical risks is that vaccines will have to be introduced later this year to get the world economy back on its feet.
Asia Pacific Chief Economist, Moody’s Analytics
“There is a possibility that world trade will be adversely affected if the introduction of vaccines in Europe is delayed. This would result in a more stalled economy in Europe. This could slow the pace of world trade.” ,” he explained.
Asian countries have contained the virus with relative success, and this has helped their economies recover faster than those in Europe and the US
Fortunately, re-locks in some parts of Europe haven’t affected manufacturing, Cochrane said. He added that “almost all” of the effects of these lockdowns have affected the service sector.
“So right now it’s not that big of a problem, and world trade still seems very, very strong,” said the economist. “The vaccine is, of course, a risk. It is one of the critical risks. We have yet to see how vaccines are introduced later this year to get the world economy back on its feet.”
Thailand briefly stops the AstraZeneca vaccine
Thailand temporarily stopped using the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine on Friday, but authorities said Monday they would continue to administer the shots.
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was the first in the country to receive the AstraZeneca-Oxford shot on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
Elsewhere in Asia, Indonesia on Monday said it would delay the rollout of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine while awaiting review by the WHO, the news agency reported.
– CNBC’s Sam Meredith contributed to this report.