Optimism about the global economic recovery will continue to drive stock markets higher in 2021. The timeline for the delivery of vaccines is becoming increasingly clear. On Dec 11, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine for emergency use in the US. This was promptly followed by approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which officially kick-started shipments to distribution centres nationwide and the rollout of inoculations for people over the age of 16. The vaccine from Moderna will be ready for use hot on the heels of Pfizer’s, as the second vaccine to receive FDA approval late last week.

Also last week, Singapore became the first Asian country to approve the Pfizer vaccine. It expects to receive its first shipment before end-2020. The country has pre-purchased several of the most promising vaccine candidates and if all goes to plan, will have sufficient doses for its entire population available by the third quarter of 2021. To top it all off, Singapore will also be opening a business travel bubble for all countries from January, and host the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering next year.

As we have discussed in detail in our previous piece, the race to immunise the world’s population is on. No doubt, we will see an increasing number of countries authorising the use of more vaccine candidates over the coming weeks and months — starting with major developed countries, which have been the most aggressive in locking up a variety of vaccine purchases early, and gradually expanding to the rest of the world.

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