Philippe Aghion, Patrick Artus, Miquel Oliu-Barton, Bary Pradelski, 31 March 2021

With the pandemic continuing now for over a year, it has become clear that there is no trade-off between health and wealth. Successful pandemic management has relied on aiming for and protecting Covid-free green zones. This column argues that by choosing a swift elimination strategy, several countries around the world have gained control over the virus. They did this by minimising fatalities and uncertainty, and are now already rebuilding their economies. By contrast, most European countries have followed a stop-and-go logic that turned out to be more restrictive, more dangerous, and more damaging to the economy.

Miquel Oliu-Barton, Bary Pradelski, 02 October 2020

With coronavirus vaccines potentially on the horizon, attention is now turning to how to distribute them once they are available. This column makes the case for vaccination deployment being dependent on the prevalence of the virus in a zone (i.e. a predefined geographical area). Red zones should focus on vaccinating people at risk and health workers to reduce fatalities and keep hospitals operational. Green zones, where community transmission is low, should additionally focus on vaccinating inter-zone travellers and highly central individuals to reduce the risk of re-importation and keep virus spread near zero. 

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