(Bloomberg) -- The emergence of a new coronavirus variant increases the uncertainty already weighing on the global economic outlook and highlights vaccination shortcomings, according to the OECD’s chief economist Laurence Boone.
While the Paris-based organization didn’t directly account for omicron in its new outlook, published Wednesday, it emphasized continued pandemic risks and urged governments to address low inoculation rates in some regions so as not to create “breeding grounds for deadlier strains.”
“We are concerned that omicron strain is further adding to high levels of uncertainty and risks and that could be a threat to recovery,” Boone said in a presentation of the OECD’s report in Paris. Vaccinating more people “remains the most important priority for ending the pandemic and also for tackling the imbalances that are plaguing the recovery.”
Boone said it would cost $50 billion to vaccinate the world -- a sum that pales in comparison to the $10 trillion Group of 20 countries have spent mitigating the economic impact of Covid-19.
On top of tighter virus restrictions including renewed lockdowns in some parts, OECD members are battling soaring inflation and hold-ups in global supply chains that are starving factories of components.
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