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This issue of Healthcare Foresight seeks to understand what the sentiments are among some KPMG health leaders as to whether or not their jurisdictions will reach 80 percent vaccinated - estimated to be the required level to achieve herd immunity by some experts1 - so we asked:  “What’s the likelihood of 80 percent of your population receiving its first vaccination dose by the end of 2021?”

Broadly speaking, there’s reason for hope among these responses as five of our eight respondents (from Australia, Canada, China, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom) said achieving this ambition will be likely, while two others said it would be close, but possible (those in the United States and Saudi Arabia). Despite the recent start of vaccination programs in many of these jurisdictions, there’s a common trajectory of positivity and cautious optimism among the group, with significant progress made since the beginning of the new year.

What will be critical to achieving this ambition? A common denominator emerges - a reliable supply from manufacturers, public confidence and trust in the vaccine (not just vaccines in general – but a vaccine’s effectiveness against variants), and the ability to align the entire continuum in vaccine delivery – from manufacturer, to distributor, to the providers that administer the shot and the public’s ability to get in the queue. This optimism is tempered by some early challenges with reliability in supply chains, structural challenges that include rural/remote distribution for large geographies (such as in Australia and Canada), and vaccine hesitancy.

While there’s reason to be hopeful in the representative KPMG firms, who primarily hail from high-income countries, as our Global Head of Healthcare Dr. Anna van Poucke has written, for global recovery, it’s critical that low-and-middle income countries not be left out of the progress and that “no one’s safe until we’re all safe”, as she wrote in a blog post following the World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda in February. 

Here’s what KPMG leaders said in early March based upon the sentiment in their jurisdictions, domestic statistics, their conversations with clients, and peering through the lens of their own experience:




Source of above statistics: COVID-19 Projections Using Machine Learning, https://covid19-projections.com/

Footnote:

1 McNeil D.G. Jr. (2021 March 9) How Much Herd Immunity Is Enough? New York Times.https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/24/health/herd-immunity-covid-coronavirus.html