I have been reading about how the coronavirus has managed to change its form and mutate in different forms, lately the Omicron variant. I was surprised to know that the rate of fully vaccinated people in Europe and in the U.S. stands at 70 percent and 60 percent consecutively. However the rate of vaccination in the poorest countries stands at 8 percent. There are 1.6 billion people around the world considered to be poor, and only 5 percent of them received only one dose of the vaccine.
There are 103 countries around the world who have not reached the 40 percent target of vaccination set by the World Health Organization. This simply means the virus will continue to mutate among millions of unvaccinated people around the world similar to what happened in South Africa.
With what is now happening to the economy in South Africa because that country was responsible enough to inform the world about Omicron, do we think that if other variants are discovered in other countries, that such poor countries will want to go through what South Africa is going through?
The solution is that we must kill the virus globally. The U.S., European Union and China must provide the vaccine globally and particularly to poor countries. Closing our borders to stop any new variants won’t work.
We have millions of vaccine doses that we can donate at an accelerated pace (China and Europe can do the same) before those unused doses become ineffective. Invest now in a global vaccination program and let us lead the world to make that happen.
Aly Badawy, Pinehurst
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