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  • Markets lacking impetus as COVOID-19 spreads and still no vaccine in sight.
  • WHO-backed program to facilitate poor countries’ access to coronavirus vaccines.

Markets have started the week off in a risk-off mood as the relentless spread of the coronavirus in Europe has troubled the outlook for the global recovery.

There is little clarity from the powers that be as to when exactly a vaccine might be realised and available.

A vaccine would normally take years, if not decades, to develop but researchers have hoped to achieve the same amount of work in only a few months.

Speculation that a vaccine could come as soon as this fall is starting to dim as we approach the regular flu season.

There had been some optimism that if trials are successful, then a small number of people – such as healthcare workers – may be vaccinated before the end of this year.

The BBC reported on a number os steps that would need to accomplished, from the trials that need to show the vaccine is safe and to find a way of producing the vaccine on a huge scale must be developed for the billions of potential doses

Finally there will be the huge logistical challenge of actually immunising most of the world’s population,

the BBC noted.

On that point, there are more than 60 wealthy nations have joined a WHO-backed program to facilitate poor countries’ access to coronavirus vaccines.

The World Health Organization has in coordination with the global vaccine alliance group Gavi and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) created a mechanism aimed at ensuring a more equitable distribution of any future COVID-19 vaccines.

But the mechanism, known as Covax, has struggled to raise the funds needed to provide for the 92 low-income countries and other economies that quickly signed up.

In any case, the vaccine will need to be administered to around 60-70% of people in order to stop it spreading easily (known as herd immunity).

This would be billions of people around the world even if the vaccine worked perfectly. 

“The purpose of the Covax facility is to try to work with every country in the world,” Gavi chief Seth Berkley said of China’s absence. 

“I can assure you that we have had conversations and will continue to have conversations with all countries,” he added.

The United States which is in the process of withdrawing from the organization, is not on the list also.

Meanwhile, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus voiced optimism that so many countries — representing nearly two-thirds of the global population — had agreed to participate in the  WHO-backed program to facilitate poor countries’ access to coronavirus vaccine.

COVID-19 is an unprecedented global crisis that demands an unprecedented global response.

Vaccine nationalism will only perpetuate the disease and prolong the global recovery,.

This is not charity.

It’s in every country’s best interest. We sink or we swim together.

Market implications

The US dollar has started to show signs of life again as equities sink towards correction levels at the start of the week.

The combination of stagnant recoveries, a lack of clarity over stimulus packages and the potential for extended lockdowns are playing into the hands of the greenback once again. 

This could have a material impact on teh price of gold:

Gold Price Analysis: XAU/USD bullish bias starting to fade