Without equal access to vaccination, the pandemic could last for several years, experts warned Saturday, February 13, 2021.
Experts around the world sound the alarm in an open letter published in the scientific journal Lancet. They presented the following figure: the governments of the rich countries, representing 16% of the world population, have achieved 70% of vaccine dosesdoes not. Developing countries are facing dose shortages. Without a change in the strategy of the great powers, the pandemic could last for several years.
“If nothing changes, rich countries will benefit from the vast majority of vaccine doses for several years. While many countries have no dose, Mark Jit, epidemiologist and co-author of the letter, said. Of course, after years, the vaccine will be distributed and available in all corners of the world. But I’m not sure we’ll really wait years and decades to definitively defeat the pandemic. To take the example of the hepatitis B vaccine when it was distributed at the time, it took more than ten years from distribution in rich countries to distribution in less developed countries. We repeat the same pattern of vaccine prevalence across the world the world will have to live with Covid for the next ten years. I do not think anyone wants such a scenario. ”
For technology transfer
Because of this “vaccine nationalism”, Covax, a UN unit intended to distribute anti-covid vaccines to underprivileged countries, could face a shortage of doses for several years.
The epidemiologist offers concrete solutions. “We need more doses of the vaccine, it’s good to have invested a lot of money to try to produce as much as possible. But more needs to be done, especially to transfer the technologies that enable the countries in the development process to manufacture the vaccine, and this for the entire supply chain, argues Mark Jit.Global vaccine production could be much more efficient.The first challenge is to have enough doses of the vaccine.So once we have had enough doses, we must make sure that the first people, those vaccinated are the ones who need them most, no matter where they are on the planet – that is, the most vulnerable, most vulnerable. People at risk. But also the people who are in daily contact with coronavirus and who have “the greatest chance of spreading it. That is, carers, carers, teachers. It is important at all costs that these people, who are most likely to spread the epidemic, be protected and vaccinated wherever they are.”
According to the signatories of the letter, vaccines developed by China or Russia can help improve the situation once they are approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).