An emerging class: A limited vaccine supply coupled with delayed distribution of doses is threatening to create a new (temporary) social class consisting of those who are able to become inoculated against COVID-19. While many individuals will wait patiently until herd immunity is reached, others are likely to feel emboldened by their status to break social distancing guidelines with their vaccinated peers. As such, the “vaccinated class” will likely remain a small portion of the population at least until the second half of the year.
The New York Times highlights the Knightsbridge Circle, a London-based travel service currently offering a three week “membership package” that includes a trip to the United Arab Emirates to receive privately obtained vaccines. As nations worldwide begin to open to vaccinated travelers, hospitality and tourism professionals will face urgency to also receive their doses.
Trading with the north: Newly inaugurated President Biden is making Canadian officials uneasy with his planned “Buy American” provisions. The U.S. and Canada exchanged nearly $2 billion a day in goods and services in 2019, and Bloomberg reports that the President’s executive order could be putting a $725 billion trade relationship in jeopardy. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to discuss the proposed measures with Biden just days after the President revoked the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
Uneven distribution concerns: Wealthy nations monopolizing the supply and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines could result in economic devastation globally, warns The New York Times. A crucial takeaway from an academic study released today states that wealthy nations being vaccinated by the middle of this year while poorer countries wait for their share of doses could mean that “the global economy would suffer losses exceeding $9 trillion … nearly half of those costs would be absorbed by wealthy countries like the United States, Canada and Britain.”
Top companies to watch: The Bloomberg Businessweek top 50 companies to watch for 2021 is now available. Check out their full list based on research compiled from over 2,000 companies across finance, retail, energy and technology. The analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence considered factors including company size and growth, products and services, and the impact of the pandemic when making their final recommendations.