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Coronavirus impact | China will overtake US to become world's largest economy by 2028

China reportedly weathered the pandemic outbreak better than the West, which would help it occupy the top spot in dollar terms five years earlier than estimated a year ago.

December 26, 2020 / 09:11 PM IST

The Chinese economy will overtake that of the United States’ sooner than expected, revealed a report released by the Centre for Economics and Business Research on December 26 .

The world’s largest (US) and second largest economies (China) are set to trade places by 2028 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

China was the first economy to suffer due to the pandemic outbreak, but it overcame the hurdles swiftly. China reportedly weathered the pandemic outbreak better than the West, which would help it occupy the top spot in dollar terms five years earlier than estimated a year ago.

A month ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping had expressed confidence that the country’s economy could double by 2035 if his government’s new Five-Year Plan is followed.

According to the World Economic League Table prepared by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, China may become a high-income economy by 2023 and India may become the number three economy by the end of this decade.

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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The CEBR annual report published on December 26 read: "India has been knocked off course somewhat through the impact of the pandemic. As a result, after overtaking the UK in 2019, the UK overtakes India again in this year's forecasts and stays ahead till 2024 before India takes over again."
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