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Omicrons may reach millions before vaccines arrive – but that doesn’t mean the race to vaccinate the world is over

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The epidemic is accelerating. It is estimated that there could be 3 billion new infections globally in the next three months due to the highly contagious Omicron Type.

Large-scale outbreaks continue to spread across Europe and North America, and cases are rising in many other countries. Omicron has now reached most corners of the world – including COVID . also includes vaccine coverage is less. For example, the African continent recently reported a significant increase in daily reported new cases.

Global vaccine roll-out is also on the rise, with hundreds of millions of doses being manufactured each month. The World Health Organization aims to vaccinate 70% of the population in every country by the middle of 2022. However, with Omicron spreading so quickly and widely, there is a real possibility that the virus will reach many people before a vaccine arrives. Across Africa, 85% of people have not yet received a single dose of vaccine.

Given this, and some research showing that Omicron causes less severe disease than earlier types, is there less need for people to get vaccinated now? Some may see it that way. But the answer is: no. Even though Omicron means many people will now catch the virus before being vaccinated, there is a need to advance vaccine roll-out around the world. Why here?

Vaccines essential for good immunity

First, Omicron is still dangerous — and especially for people who haven’t been vaccinated. Studies suggesting that omicrons are less severe are based in countries with relatively high levels of pre-existing immunity, such as the UK and South Africa.

Indeed, British data collected since the emergence of Omicron shows that non-vaccinated people are eight times as likely to be hospitalized. As of January 12, 2022, around 20,000 people in UK hospitals are diagnosed with COVID, indicating that it is certainly not a mild illness for all.

Of the billions of new infections that are expected to occur, many will not be avoided. But it’s still important to try to save the unexposed.

All of these new infections will produce some immunity in people, and this infection-acquired immunity will provide them with some protection. Kovid In the future, at least in the short term. However, given the recently emerged omicron, little is known about the strength or durability of the immune response to it.

But we do know that double immunization in the previous variant provides greater protection against later infection than prior infection – and that being infected and vaccinated provides particularly high protection. . Even if many unvaccinated people get COVID, past experience shows that it is still a very good idea for them to get a vaccine as well.

help stop the spread

Along with lockdown, masks and social distancing, vaccines are also an important measure to reduce the number of new COVID cases. Although vaccines primarily protect against severe COVID disease, they also reduce the chances of someone becoming infected and transmitting the virus.

Keeping cases down makes it easier to manage outbreaks when they do occur. The cost of allowing cases to spiral can be seen in the UK, where many hospitals have declared serious incidents, citing a lack of staff and beds to safely deliver normal standards of care. We must do everything possible to avoid similar things happening in other countries – especially those that may not have the same medical resources as a Western nation.

Uncontrolled outbreaks also pose a high risk of a new type of anxiety emerging. There is no reason to believe that this particular novel coronavirus has just finished changing shape.

Vaccine hoarding still an issue

Some countries, such as the UK, have advanced vaccine booster programs, and it seems likely that a third dose would be highly protective against Omicron. But it should aim for advanced vaccination programs around the world.

The frantic pace of vaccination is likely to ease over much of Europe during the spring of 2022. It mandated that surplus supplements, of which the G7 has more than a billion, should be donated to low-income countries. Those donations should be for vaccines well past their expiration date, giving recipient countries time to direct them to places of highest need.

A global wall of immunity is certainly much better than a small number of national walls. Vaccine inequality doesn’t help anyone.

The end of the pandemic is a precise point in time. There is no fixed number or metric that defines it. Still, we will likely see the World Health Organization for an announcement, or a series of statements, that anticipates a shutdown on the emergency phase of the pandemic response. Around that time, we may have the opportunity to stop, think, and plan for the best way to prevent or reduce future pandemics.

Vaccine equity – achieved, perhaps, by building multiple vaccine-manufacturing sites in sub-Saharan Africa – should be the focus of those discussions. This would reduce the selfishness displayed by rich countries hoarding vaccines during this pandemic, and leave the world in a better position than “next time”. After all, recent public health emergencies – such as influenza, SARS, Ebola, Zika and now COVID – tell us that next time almost certainly will.

Before that, however, we should do everything possible to get vaccine doses to countries that still have large numbers of unvaccinated people. In the short term, and despite Omicron’s impact, vaccination remains the key tool needed to steer our path out of the pandemic.

(This article is syndicated by PTI from The Conversation)



Hassaan Minhas

Hassaan is a journalist at and he deals with Latest News, India News, and Tech News. Hassaan is a very professional and authentic news journalist.

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