Special Covid-19 Series, Issue #21

Autore :

Data: 18-01-2021

Tipo: Other

Tematica: Action Institute

Hello, Action Institute Community!

While the COVID-19 pandemic is hurting the global economy, we at Action Institute aim at delivering a whole-rounded perspective, cutting through the noise.
Our weekly Special series approaches the effects of the virus from different perspectives: from medical facts to health policy, from economic policy to macroeconomic issues, from politics to financial markets, from technology to the impact on businesses, and more. We encourage our esteemed readers to provide us with feedback and suggestions.

This weekly issue proposes a selection of papers and articles focused on (i) Medical Facts and (ii) Politics, Institutions and International Policy.



“Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability.”, William Osler


 “What are the ingredients of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine?” (MIT Tech Review, Antonio Regalado, December 9th, 2020). The article explains what the single ingredients in the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine are, what they do and how the vaccine is different to previous vaccines for other diseases.

 “mRNA Technology Gave Us the First COVID-19 Vaccines. It Could Also Upend the Drug Industry” (Time, Walter Isaacson, January 11th, 2021). The author explains the mRNA Technology and how it is used in the COVID-19 vaccine. He gives a picture of the development of Biontech and Moderna and what implications the new technology can have on the drug industry.

 “More infectious coronavirus variants will emerge, disease expert predicts” (FT, Clive Cookson, Michael Pooler, January 13th, 2021). The author argues that there will be even more contagious variants of the coronavirus appearing when more people become (partially) immune or get vaccinated. The virus will face “evolutionary pressure” and therefore mutate.



“Just because you do not take an interest in politics, it doesn’t mean that politics won’t take an interest in you.”, Pericles 


 “Vaccine Nationalism Will Prolong the Pandemic” (Foreign Affairs, Thomas J. Bollyky, Chad P. Bown, December 29th, 2020). According to a recent estimate, nations representing just one-seventh of the world’s population have already reserved more than half of all the promising vaccine supplies. According to leaked internal documents, funding and supply concerns have placed COVAX at “very high” risk of failure.

 “Epidemiological and economic consequences of government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic” (, Balázs Égert, Yvan Guillemette, Fabrice Murtin, David Turner, January 2nd, 2021). This column seeks to quantify the impact of government interventions on disease progression and mobility. It finds that a wide-ranging package of public health policies, such as comprehensive testing, tracing, isolation and mask-wearing, are crucial to avoid full lockdowns while also containing the spread of the virus.

 “Vaccine Diplomacy: China and SinoPharm in Africa” (Council on Foreign Relations, Neil Edwards, January 6th, 2021). Due to the COVAX program’s limited reach, African governments are looking for alternative vaccine supplies: several of them have shown interest in China’s leading vaccine, BBIBP-CorV, developed by SinoPharm. If this vaccine succeeds in restoring normalcy across Africa, China will strengthen its public image after the pandemic.

 “Has the European Union squandered its coronavirus vaccination opportunity?” (Bruegel, J. Scott Marcus, January 6th, 2021). The European Union’s purchases of frontrunner coronavirus vaccines are insufficient for the population’s near-term needs. According to the author, the shortfall could have healthcare consequences and might delay economic reopening.



Let me remind you that credit is the lifeblood of business, the lifeblood of prices and jobs.

Herbert Hoover […]


Good health is essential to social and economical development and it empowers all of the public sectors.

World Health Organization […]


Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.

Peter Drucker […]

Human Capital

Talent is a source from which water flows constantly renewed. But this source loses its value unless it is properly used.

Ludwig Wittgenstein […]