Special Covid-19 Series, Issue #44

Autore : Action Institute

Data: 06-09-2021

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) Health Policy and (ii) Technology.


“In Public Health, honesty is worth a lot more than hope.”, The Economist.

 “Increasing the global supply of essential medical supplies: Time for Europe to step up its global leadership” (Bruegel, Anne Bucher and Guntram B. Wolff, July 19th, 2021). The COVID-19 pandemic is nowhere near its end at a global level. In this scenario, Europe can play a major role in providing the world with vaccines now and for future pandemics. Three steps are essential. First, the EU has to keep helping the developing countries gain access to vaccines through donations or grants. Second, the world needs greater supply capacities for vaccines and other medicines and equipment when there is no global pandemic raging. Third, production capacities in different regions would make the system more resilient and contribute to a more equitable global distribution of scarce supplies.

 “Healthcare and pharmaceuticals” (CEPS, Karel Lannoo, Donald Kalff and Agnes Sipiczki, July 20th, 2021). The ongoing pandemic has unveiled the need for a more pronounced and strategic pharmaceutical industry plan within the European Union, which implemented pharmaceutical, trade and industrial sector strategies but lacked coordination. To avoid these piecemeal responses, the report states that a deep understanding of R&D in medical products, of competitiveness drivers and global value chains in the pharmaceutical sector is necessary. The recommendations address a structured revision of the EU’s institutional and governance framework in public health, the need for increased expenditures on healthcare and to strengthen the governance of public-private partnerships.

 “What Emergency Responders Can Learn from the Business World” (Harvard Business Review, Andrea Jackman and Mario Beruvides, July 27th, 2021). As COVID-19 and other crises consistently show, emergency managers remain too heavily focused on the first response aspect of a disaster. To truly manage crises, emergency managers must step away from the response-oriented mindset and adopt a traditional business management approach, viewing all phases of disaster — strategic and tactical management as well as managing metrics — as key to avoiding disaster (or at least disaster at scale) to begin with.

 “Has the EU really vaccinated 70 percent of adults against coronavirus?” (Politico, Cornelius Hirsch, September 2nd, 2021). The article challenges the Commission’s claim of having met the 70-percent target of vaccinated adults in the EU by summer-end. The announcement was given by President Ursula von der Leyen on August 31. Stats experts put such figures into question, after a careful analysis of the data provided by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Apparently, the percentage of the adult population immunized in the Union does not surpass 67 percent, as the actual number of vaccinated citizens falls short of 11 million the figure declared by the Commission.


“Technology is a word that describes something that doesn’t work yet.”, Douglas Adams

 Ed tech and educational opportunity during the COVID-19 school closures” (Brookings, Emiliana Vegas, Sheral Shah, and Brian Fowler, August 23rd, 2021). The report analyses households’ educational practices in Chennai during the pandemic-related school closures, to identify the role of education technologies (ed tech). Students in private schools or from high-socioeconomic status families have wider access to digital devices and are more engaged in educational activities. It is also found that girls, regardless of the socioeconomic status, are more likely to use ed tech for learning and to engage more regularly in educational activities. However, 20% of children were not offered any remote instruction.

 “Banks’ IT adoption and lending during the pandemic” (, Nicola Branzoli, Edoardo Rainone, Ilaria Supino, August 23rd, 2021) Mobility restrictions due to the pandemic forced banks to a better use of IT in order to meet the demand for digital financial services. This paper analyses the role of digital technology in credit since March 2020, to compare variations in bank lending across Italian banks with different degrees of pre-pandemic IT adoption. It is found that IT-intensive banks have granted more credit to non-financial corporations (NFCs) and that this increase stayed sizable even once nationwide mobility restrictions were lifted. However, customers still valued the opportunity of frontal interactions with the banks, even under severe physical restrictions.

 “What’s happening with covid vaccine apps in the US” (MIT Tech, Bobbie Johnson, Adriana Fraser, Harini Baratharchive, August 31st, 2021). There is no worldwide homogeneity in the release of the so-called “vaccine passports”, as States are individually approaching the question. The great majority of EU MSs is releasing digital green certificates, though the activities they give access to change from country to country. Even greater variety is found within the US where 7 states have active vaccine certification apps, while 22 states have banned the systems to some degree. 


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 […]