New Covid Variants Are Dangerous Until Worldwide Vaccines

People wearing protective masks wait for a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination at a vaccination center in Mumbai, India on April 26, 2021.

Niharika Kulkarni | Reuters

LONDON – New variants of Covid-19 are likely to emerge until the entire world is vaccinated against the virus, experts warn, saying the vaccine exchange is more than an altruistic act, but a pragmatic act.

“Until vaccinations are done all over the world, and not just in the wealthy Western countries, I think we will remain in danger of new options, and some of them may be more dangerous than omicron,” – -r Andrew Friedman, Reader on Infectious Diseases. at Cardiff University School of Medicine, CNBC told CNBC on Thursday.

Friedman noted that viruses “soften” as they evolve, but warned that this is “not always the case.”

“It is possible that future options will be even more contagious, they may be milder, but we cannot say that with certainty.”

To date, 58.6% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of Covid vaccine, with 9.28 billion doses administered worldwide, according to Our World in Data.

Most adults are currently fully vaccinated against Covid in wealthy, predominantly Western countries such as Europe or the United States, and in many of these countries the vaccine is being extended to young teens and even young children.

But in low-income countries, only 8.5% of people received at least one dose of the vaccine, as our world shows in the data.

‘Global Escape Strategy’

Since the introduction of the vaccine, the World Health Organization has repeatedly called on wealthier countries to donate surplus vaccines to the Covax Initiative, an international program aimed at ensuring fairer global access to vaccines.

Gavi, the vaccine alliance that is part of the Covax scheme, says the initiative “is necessary because without it there is a real risk that most people in the world will be left without protection from SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19). and this will ensure that the virus and its effects are not weakened. “

Like all viruses, the coronavirus, which first appeared in China in late 2019, has continued to mutate and evolve throughout the pandemic. Certain mutations have proven to be more effective in spreading the virus. Variants such as the “alpha” strain, first discovered in the UK in September 2020 and named by the WHO, have spread around the world, usurping previous strains.

Then the “delta variant” which was discovered in India in October 2020 supplanted the alpha variant, and now we are fighting the “omicron”: a much more transmissible variant than delta, but a strain that seems to cause less serious diseases, according to More and more studies are being conducted in a short timeframe since the introduction of the omicron in southern Africa in November 2021.

Mandatory vaccines?

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