The case for geographically concentrated vaccine doses

Here goes: A central yet neglected point is that vaccines should not be sent to each and every part of the U.S. Instead, it would be better to concentrate distribution in a small number of places where the vaccines can have a greater impact. Say, for the purposes of argument, that you had 20,000 vaccine […]

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The pandemic is indeed a big deal

In our estimation, and with standard preference parameters, the value of the ability to end the pandemic is worth 5-15% of total wealth. This value rises substantially when there is uncertainty about the frequency and duration of pandemics. Agents place almost as much value on the ability to resolve the uncertainty as they do on […]

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Rapid Antigen Tests in Europe

‘If rapid antigen tests are so good how come other countries aren’t using them’? is a question I get asked a lot. In fact, India authorized these tests months ago. Slovakia tested most of their population using antigen tests. Germany is using them to protect nursing home residents. Lufthansa is trialing rapid antigen tests on […]

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Externalities and Covid

I am getting a little ornery with all of the people citing Covid externalities, and then not going a step deeper.  To be clear, I agree we should subsidize preventive measures (most of all vaccines and testing, but more too), and close down high-risk indoor gatherings in many locales.  No more Democratic Party fundraisers in […]

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Vaccination economic resumption sentences to ponder

If you think of state governments as basically being as permissive as possible consistent with not overwhelming their hospital systems then even vaccinating 20% of the population has a huge economic impact as long as it’s targeted in a halfway plausible way. That is from Matt Yglesias.  I would stress also the bad news that […]

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The political economy of Swine flu vaccine allocation

Previous research has isolated the effect of “congressional dominance” in explaining bureaucracy-related outcomes. This analysis extends the concept of congressional dominance to the allocation of H1N1, or swine flu, vaccine doses. States with Democratic United States Representatives on the relevant House oversight committee received roughly 60,000 additional doses per legislator during the initial allocation period, […]

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Progress against HIV-AIDS hasn’t been reported enough

While an effective vaccine against HIV may still be a long way off, a new HIV prevention technique has proven remarkably effective at protecting women against the virus. A single injection of a drug called cabotegravir every two months was so successful in preventing HIV in a clinical trial among women in sub-Saharan Africa that […]

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More immigrant founders and co-founders, in this case Moderna

Noubar Afeyan, co-founder and chairman of Moderna, is a two-time immigrant. He was born to Armenian parents in Lebanon and immigrated with his family in his early teens to Canada. After attending college, Afeyan came to the United States and earned a Ph.D. in biochemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He started his […]

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