Before the world was vaccinated, the new Covid variant was a danger

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

Niharika Kurkani | Reuters

LONDON – Experts warn that new Covid-19 variants may continue to emerge before the world is vaccinated against the virus, saying that sharing vaccines is not only a selfless act, but also a pragmatic act.

“Before the entire world is vaccinated, not just wealthy Western countries, I think we will continue to face the danger of new variants, some of which may be more toxic than omicron,” Dr. Andrew Friedman, infectious disease reader in Cardiff The university medical school told CNBC on Thursday.

Friedman pointed out that viruses “tend to become milder” as they evolve, but he warns that “this is not always the case.”

“It is likely that they will be more contagious in future variants, and they may be milder, but we can’t say for sure.”

According to our data world, so far, 58.6% of the global population has received at least one dose of Covid vaccine, and 9.28 billion doses have been vaccinated globally.

Now, in wealthy countries such as Europe or the United States, which are predominantly Western, most of the adult population is vaccinated against Covid, and in many of these countries/regions, the vaccine is being introduced to young adolescents and even young children.

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

“Global Escape Strategy”

The WHO and other experts often hear the mantra “No one is safe unless everyone is safe”. They say that unless everyone is protected, the pandemic will not end.

Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College London, told CNBC earlier this week: “I can’t fully emphasize that this logic is inescapable.”

“This is not altruism or aid or anything else. It is a global escape strategy for our common suffering. Unless we can share vaccines and produce enough vaccines for everyone, the next variant is at hand.”

The Covid vaccine has been shown to significantly protect people from serious infections, hospitalizations and deaths, so in addition to wider vaccination coverage that may save millions of lives, it may also help prevent new mutations: Large numbers of unvaccinated people make it easier for the virus to spread and mutate in the process.

Gavi, the vaccine consortium that is part of the Covax program, stated that the program “is necessary because without it, most people in the world will face a real risk of being unable to defend against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19). This will make the virus and its The impact continues unabated.”

Like all viruses, the coronavirus that first appeared in China at the end of 2019 continued to mutate and evolve throughout the pandemic. Certain mutations have been shown to be more effective in making the virus spread. Variants such as the “alpha” strain, which was first discovered in the United Kingdom in September 2020 and named by the World Health Organization, have spread all over the world, replacing previous strains.

Then, the “delta” variant discovered in India in October 2020 replaced the alpha variant, and now we are competing with “omicron”: a variant that is more spread than delta, but reportedly, this strain seems to cause less severe disease . Since omicron first appeared in Southern Africa in November 2021, more and more research has been conducted in a short period of time.

Mandatory vaccination?