The new COVID-19 variant Omicron has countries all over the world rushing to contain outbreaks, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has once again advised wealthy countries against storing vaccinations while poorer countries face scarcity.
The World Health Organization has frequently cautioned that rich countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and even countries in the European Union are stockpiling vaccines. Even as India was recovering from the catastrophic second wave, wealthy nations were thrust into the spotlight. Not only vaccinations, but also ingredients for making vaccines in India were being hoarded by countries like the United States.
Here’s why the WHO is concerned about Omicron:
What has the World Health Organization said?
Even while countries like the United States offer booster injections to its populations, the global organisation has asked wealthier countries to send vaccines to impoverished ones. “What is going to shut down disease is for anybody who is most at risk of disease to become vaccinated,” Dr Kate O’Brien, chief of WHO’s department of immunisation, was quoted by AFP as saying. In countries, we appear to be losing sight of the ball.”
At a time when there isn’t enough data to say whether a booster will protect us from the new strain, O’Brien warned countries about “excess.” “As we go closer to whatever the Omicron condition is, there’s a risk that global supply would revert to high-income countries storing vaccine to protect (their populations)… in a sense in excess,” O’Brien said.
Meanwhile, the European Union’s pharmaceuticals regulator warned on Thursday that it is closely monitoring the spread of the new type and will need to develop new vaccines to combat it. Even before it’s evident that a change is needed, vaccine producers are hurrying to alter their COVID-19 doses to protect against the next coronavirus threat.
“At this time, we don’t have enough information about the influence of this variant on the efficacy of licenced vaccines.” We are, however, always watching the horizon for evidence in this respect. In any event, we’re ready to respond quickly if the need arises,” Marco Cavaleri, the European Medicines Agency’s head of biological health hazards and vaccines strategy, said during an online media briefing.
Africa has a vaccine scarcity.
The new variety has once again brought attention to vaccine inequity in developing countries. African countries have some of the world’s lowest vaccination rates.
According to an article in Time magazine, just 7.3 percent of people in African countries are fully vaccinated, which is much lower than the rates in the United States and Europe, where 58 percent of the population is vaccinated.
According to the research, the 1.9 billion doses pledged to low- and middle-income countries have also not been met.
As countries like as South Africa grapple with a new strain, the United States and Europe are also administering booster doses.