Last night, Boris Johnson was given the vaccine at St Thomas' Hospital in central London. After the jab, the Prime Minister commented, "I literally did not feel a thing. It was very good, very quick.”
He then proceeded to encourage the consumption of the vaccine by saying, "everybody, when you do get your notification to go for a jab, please go and get it, it is the best thing for you, best thing for your family and for everyone else."
According to the latest government figures, more than 26 million people have now had their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine in the UK so far.
The PM encouraging the consumption of the vaccine, uptake will likely increase as consumers become more confident in the effectiveness of the vaccine. This will allow the government to continue with its current roadmap with the next stage of the UK’s path out of lockdown taking place on the 29th of March.
The so-called ‘rule of six’ returns with the end of the government’s stay at home’ mandate which allows for further activities to take place, such as, outdoor sports facilities reopening. If vaccine uptake is maintained, the UK will be on track for Stage 2 of the government roadmap.
Stage 2, which will begin no earlier than April 12th, involves a largely popular move to reopen beer gardens and the reopening of all non-essential shops in the UK making way for a surge in consumer spending.
This will lead to a large increase in aggregate demand in the UK economy as consumption increases leading to a large increase in real GDP following a tough year shown by the UK economy shrinking by 10% during 2020.
This will lead to an increase in output in the UK economy as more goods and services are being produced. Hence, because labour is a derived demand, firms will begin to bring workers as they increase their factor inputs.
This will mitigate the cost associated with the Furlough scheme as more workers return to work. This will relieve the pressure caused by large government borrowing during COVID-19.
Hence, the government can move forward and begin to fix its current budget deficit by reducing government spending on Job Support schemes, which amounted to £3.9bn last month.
Additionally, due to increased consumption, the government will see an increase in revenue from VAT tax as more goods and services are being bought. This combined with corporation tax rates increasing from 19% to 25% over the next 5 years to alleviate public sector net debt, which is at £2.1tn.
However, the uptake of the vaccine may be threatened by the recent suspension of the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine. This is shown as Sweden joins Germany, France, and 15 other countries in suspending AstraZeneca's vaccine over possible side effects.
This follows dutch reports of six patients facing blood clotting and thrombocytopenia in adults under 50.
These claims may impact the confidence in the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine, threatening the UK rollout of the vaccine which may have dire consequences for the recovery of the UK economy which is dependent on the vaccine rollout to maintain the current roadmap.
Despite these claims, on Friday, WHO have reported no link between the vaccine and clots, urging countries to keep inoculating. These claims are backed by AstraZeneca and further supported by the recent EMA inquiry, which concluded the vaccine is "safe and effective."
Overall, the timely nature of the PM’s vaccine may counteract the negative publicity received from the European countries towards the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine, leading to a maintained intake of the vaccine allowing for the UK government to reach its roadmap targets.