A leading medical expert has cautioned that the coronavirus pandemic is far from over, and that “crushing waves of new cases are on the horizon” if countries neglect public health precautions. Despite significant progress in vaccinating against the pandemic, just 3% of the global population has been completely vaccinated, according to Dr Tom Kenyon, chief health officer at Project HOPE, a humanitarian NGO. He went on to say that while 56 percent of doses have been administered in higher-income countries, only about 10% of people in lower-income countries will be inoculated in the coming year. Dr. Keynon, who previously worked for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stressed the importance of making vaccines available to all countries quicker as the best way to avoid the pandemic.
To date, 56% of doses have been given out in high-income countries, which account for 16% of the world's population. At the present pace, only 10% of citizens in the majority of developing countries will be vaccinated in the coming year. As vaccine stocks have been hovered up by wealthier countries, many lower-income countries have struggled to keep their hands on them. This is despite the UN-backed Covax campaign, which is run by the World Health Organization (WHO) and aims to bring vaccines to less developed countries. The WHO released a list of the first vaccine allocations under the scheme last month, but due to supply problems, the implementation has been slower than anticipated.
It is not only our human imperative to make vaccines available to all countries quicker and in adequate amounts, but it is also our only realistic way out of this global health crisis, Dr Kenyon expressed of the vaccine rollout. He also advised countries to stay in "pandemic emergency mode" and use key public health measures including vaccination and masks. It is clear that this pandemic is far from over, he warned, referring to a recent easing of Covid restrictions in some US states.