IMF chief: Vaccines will be 'most important' economic policy in 2021

IMF chief: Vaccines will be 'most important' economic policy in 2021
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Kristalina Georgieva, director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said during an event on Wednesday that vaccine policy should be the top economic priority for 2021.

“Vaccine policy this year, probably next year, is going to be the most important economic policy, may beat even monetary and fiscal policy in terms of significance,” Georgieva said while speaking at CNBC’s Global Evolve Summit.

“A pre-requisite to bring the world to a sustained high level of growth everywhere is to vaccinate all people and that’s not yet done. We have [a] two-track vaccination path right now; we have to overcome that,” Georgieva added.

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CNBC notes that the IMF said in May that an investment of $50 billion should be spent on expedited COVID-19 vaccine rollout, predicting that the investment would have a return of $9 trillion.

Speaking to CNBC financial journalist Geoff Cutmore at the Wednesday event, Georgieva said this plan would have “the best return on investment in our lifetimes.”

During the event, the IMF head also touched on vaccine certificates that allow travelers to visit other countries. At the beginning of June, the European Union's digital COVID-19 certificate program was launched in seven countries. The program allows countries to see if a person has recently tested negative for COVID-19, recently recovered from the virus or has been vaccinated.

“Having a vaccination card that shows when you were vaccinated is a very useful tool. It is already being applied. I do believe that we need to look into applying that more broadly,” Georgieva said, CNBC reports.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 2.3 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.