Effective Covid vaccine could boost London's economy

An effective Covid vaccine that lets workers return to offices three-days-a-week could boost London’s economy by £22 BILLION and save more than 30,000 retail, hospitality and entertainment jobs, study reveals

  • Research by Arup shows effective vaccine could boost the capital’s economy 
  • Central London currently produces nearly 11 per cent of Britain’s national output
  • UK could get 40 million doses of the new Covid-19 by Pfizer and BioNTech 
  • Britain had also secured five million doses of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine

An effective coronavirus vaccine that allows workers to return to their offices in London three-days-a-week by 2021 could boost the capital’s economy by £22 billion, a new study shows.

Research by the consultant group Arup shows the rollout of an effective vaccine would protect 31,000 jobs across entertainment, retail, hospitality and accommodation. 

In the report’s best-case scenario, where workers can return to their offices in London for four days a week by the end of 2021, the economic benefit would soar to £41 billion with 57,000 jobs saved from redundancy. 

It comes after it was revealed the UK could get 40 million doses of the new Covid-19 vaccine by Pfizer and BioNTech after early results from the clinical trial suggested it was 90 per cent effective.    

Yesterday Health Secretary Matt Hancock also revealed Britain had secured five million doses of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine after the drugmaker revealed the vaccine was 94.5 percent effective based on preliminary data from its ongoing trial.  

An effective coronavirus vaccine could boost the capital’s economy by £22 billion and protect jobs across entertainment, retail, hospitality and accommodation, new research by the consultant group Arup shows. (Stock image)

In their report, Arup say their doomsday scenario – where no vaccine is found and lockdowns persists throughout much of next year – predicts as much as £84 billion could be wiped off the London economy compared with pre-Covid levels.

It also predicts around 117,000 jobs could be at risk across the hardest hit sectors.

Central London produces nearly 11 per cent of Britain’s national output, as well as the lion’s share of London’s £39 billion tax surplus, according to the report.

Business leader Ruth Duston, who oversees nine central London business districts and who commissioned the research, said: ‘The realistic prospect of a vaccine for Covid-19 being approved and distributed in the coming months will fill many in the business community with great hope.

‘This research demonstrates why – it’s clear from these projections that any measures which mean people can return to their offices come with enormous economic benefits, saving tens of thousands of jobs and generating billions for the economy.’

But she added: ‘Even with office workers at their desks three days a week by next year, we must remember that occupancy rates will still be significantly lower (around minus 34 per cent) than they were pre-Covid-19.

‘The return to the office is also likely to be slow, and it will take another 12 months to reach these new levels.’

The research comes after it was revealed that the UK could get 40 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine by Christmas and be ‘back to normal’ by the Spring after one of the leading candidates proved to be 90 per cent effective.

Stock markets around the world surged last week when Pfizer and BioNTech revealed early results from a massive clinical trial suggested nine out of 10 people who get their jab are protected by it. 

The UK could get 40 million doses of the new vaccine by Pfizer and BioNTech and five million doses of Moderna’s vaccine. (Stock image)

The PM’s spokesman cautioned that there were ‘no guarantees’, but branded the results ‘promising’ and held out the prospect of millions of doses of the vaccine being in circulation by Christmas if it wins approval. 

‘In total, we’ve procured 40million doses of the Pfizer candidate vaccine, with 10million of those doses being manufactured and available to the UK by the end of the year if the vaccine is approved by the regulators,’ the spokesman said. 

Yesterday Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed Britain had also secured five million doses of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine.

The jab needs to be taken in two shots, meaning the five million doses will only vaccinate two-and-a-half million Brits. 

The Health Secretary hailed both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccine trial results as a ‘candle of hope’, but warned the UK’s high infection and death rates made it ‘painfully clear the virus remains a potent threat’.

Moderna’s results show 95 out of more than 25,000 participants caught the coronavirus in the trial. Only five out of the 95 had actually been given the vaccine, while the other 90 were in a placebo group and given a fake jab. 

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