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12° Nicosia,
17 January, 2022
 
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Vaccine inequality

Lack of solidarity between developed and developing countries

Opinion

Opinion

The new "Omicron" mutation is the result of a lack of vaccination solidarity between developed and developing countries, experts and those who had previously called for vaccines to be sent to less privileged countries warn. This failure has given rise to a new pandemic alert accompanied by new travel restrictions with some countries even closing their borders altogether. Even so, the real issue remains to increase vaccination coverage in countries with shortages. The situation on the African continent of 1.5 billion inhabitants is indicative, where the vaccination coverage amounts to 7% with the global average being 54%.

the head of the World Health Organization noted that it is very likely that the "Omicron" mutation has already traveled around the globe

In April 2020, the GAVI Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organization began coordinating a program codenamed COVAX to provide equal access to covid19 vaccines worldwide. The goal at the time was to make 2 billion vaccines available by the end of 2021, a number that would theoretically be enough to protect the really vulnerable. But the aid was slow to arrive, it is estimated that it achieved 25% of the target, resulting in the creation of new pandemic data today. The "Omicron" mutation was first diagnosed in early November and is now responsible for most of the infections recorded in South Africa.

The concern is particularly high due to the speed of transmission of the virus. According to South African officials, the number of infections is currently at 2,800 per day, up from 500 a few days ago, with the number expected to rise to 10,000 in the coming days. The reaction was immediate and European countries and the US rushed to ban the entry of travelers from South Africa, while Japan in a more extreme panic move decided to ban entry to the country altogether. Reactions, although perfectly expected, do not address the problem. Commenting on the developments, the head of the World Health Organization noted that it is very likely that the "Omicron" mutation has already traveled around the globe.

Almost two years after the advent of covid19 the situation seems to be out of control. Travel restrictions and panic certainly do not work well in sustaining economic activity and normalizing conditions that push prices up. The continuation will require cooperation and coexistence for joint action on a global problem. Budgetary limits have been exhausted, with the result that solutions of the past are no longer an option. Markets in order to stay cool will "demand" much more than reflexive panic moves. A good first step is the promotion these days of an international pandemic treaty that will regulate the obvious, that is, that there will be equal access to medical means and that countries that try to do so will not be targeted.

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Cyprus  |  world  |  pandemic  |  omicron

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