Vaccinate the world now, or face years of mutant strains like Omicron
Fragile nations are doomed to be stuck in an endless cycle of COVID-19 strains, unless the world urgently addresses vaccine inequity and hesitancy, according to World Vision.
As the world faces Omicron, another COVID-19 variant of concern, the international aid agency has warned the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable children and families will only intensify for everyone, everywhere as vaccine inequity continues to leave the door open for further mutations.
It is imperative that disparities and inequities in vaccine roll-outs are addressed to ensure the multiplication in mutant strains is stopped, it said.
World Vision Australia CEO Daniel Wordsworth said the virus was clearly adapting faster than our efforts to control it.
“None of us is completely safe until all of us are vaccinated, which is why World Vision is urging the acceleration of a more equitable global roll-out of vaccines to be supported by all governments,” Daniel said. “To achieve the shared goal of the fastest possible universal coverage, wealthy countries must work together with low- and middle-income countries to guarantee that vaccine supplies are not only accessible for all but also prepared for vaccine roll-outs. That means enabling health systems, training workers, planning vaccine messaging and equipping distributions to reach the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations.”
Daniel said the uneven distribution of vaccines not only leaves the disease unchecked, allowing new and potentially more deadly variants to emerge, but also leaves behind less vaccinated countries to have their citizens and economies decimated by waves of COVID-19 infections.
“The faster everyone can get vaccinated everywhere, the less time COVID-19 variants will have to mutate and spread. Expecting poorer and more vulnerable nations who are often also facing compounded crises, such as hunger and conflict, in addition to trying to fight the pandemic, is a disproportionate burden; it is simply too much to expect them to be able to rebound from this without global support.
“This pandemic will not end until all are protected.”
World Vision’s impact:
- World Vision’s global COVID-19 Response (COVER) is responding to the devastating impact of COVID-19 in more than 70 countries. Since the beginning of the response, World Vision has reached more than 72 million people, including more than 31 million children with efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 and reduce its impact on vulnerable children and families.
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