IT COULD COST as little as $50 billion to save the global economy.

That’s the amount needed to vaccinate the world, a measure that’s key to ending the pandemic and tackling the imbalances “plaguing the recovery,” according to OECD Chief Economist Laurence Boone.

“When you balance things out, $10 trillion for supporting the economy going through the pandemic compared with a tiny $50 billion to bring the vaccine to the entire world population, that looks completely disproportionate,” she told Bloomberg Television in an interview Wednesday. The first number is the amount spent by Group of 20 countries to mitigating the economic impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The emergence of Omicron increases the uncertainty already weighing on the global economic outlook and highlights vaccination shortcomings, she said. While the Paris-based organization didn’t directly account for that strain in its new forecasts, it emphasized continued pandemic risks and urged governments to address low inoculation rates in some regions so as not to create “breeding grounds for deadlier strains.”

On top of tighter virus restrictions including renewed lockdowns in some parts, OECD members are battling soaring inflation and hold-ups in global supply chains that are starving factories of components. — Bloomberg