Many of the world’s richest countries have stockpiled coronaviruses last year. He bought more doses than he needed to vaccinate his own people. Promises to vaccinate developing countries have not been kept. The World Health Organization (WHO) has called the rich countries’ approach “self-defeating” and “immoral.”
According to a report in the US media CNN, the approaches adopted by the rich countries are now beginning to bite them. New types of corona and potentially more contagious types have emerged from areas where vaccination rates are lowest.
A new type of corona was identified in South Africa last Tuesday. In addition to South Africa, new findings have been made in Botswana, Israel, Hong Kong, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Australia.
The WHO has given a new name to the corona, ‘Omicron’. The company described the type as “worrying”. The idea is that it is far more contagious than all previous types of corona. However, experts have not yet confirmed whether the Omicron is more or less deadly than other types of corona.
Michael Head, a senior research fellow at Global Health at the University of Southampton, told CNN that where genomic surveillance and vaccination rates are low, the outbreak could begin. The emergence of that new form of corona is a natural consequence of the slowdown in vaccination rates around the world. Many regions, such as Africa, are still unvaccinated, vulnerable to large outbreaks.
Scientist Head added that new forms of the virus have caused problems in the past. Where there is a huge and uncontrolled outbreak, it has started. For example, last December Alpha in the UK and Delta in India in February were identified.
Scientists in South Africa have identified a new type of corona, prompting many countries around the world to react and close their borders.
But scientists and public health experts warn that the huge gap between vaccination rates in developed and developing countries could be responsible for the situation.
Jeremy Farrer, director of the health research charity Welcome Trust, said the new type of corona has shown the world why more equitable access to vaccines and other public health equipment should be ensured. Inequality can prolong the epidemic.
According to the WHO, only 8.5 percent of the world’s low-income people have received a single dose of the corona vaccine. Corona vaccination rates are much lower in the eight countries that have been banned from traveling due to the Omicron type. In high-income countries around the world, 83.9 percent of people have received a single dose of corona vaccine. In the United States and the European Union, 60 percent of people receive a single dose of the vaccine.
“There are a number of reasons why vaccination rates are so low in a country,” said scientist Head. However, in many countries, including South Africa, hesitation about vaccination is also a big problem.
Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), said India also needed to be wary of the new type of coronavirus, Omicron. He fears the new strain could be much more contagious than the delta identified in India. The scientist advised to maintain the hygiene rules including wearing mask and vaccination to deal with the new type. Swaminathan said this in an interview given to NDTV.
Negotiations over the epidemic deal
The World Health Assembly, made up of 194 member states, begins on Monday. Discussions are under way on whether an epidemic agreement can be followed to determine how to deal with the next crisis. However, the extent to which countries are prepared to agree on mandatory terms to prepare for the next pandemic is still uncertain.