The dream of "global herd immunity"... dissipates - Saudi News

The other aspect of achieving what is known as “herd immunity” at the global level, which is sufficient to stop the outbreak of the new Corona virus, is the need to vaccinate 70% of the world’s population with anti-virus vaccines. It is a goal that the World Health Organization has pledged to achieve by June 2022. This means that there is only a month or more left before that date. The evidence strongly suggests that it will not. The world population is currently 7.94 billion people, increasing by 207 thousand births per day (that is, about 43 million people annually). Yesterday, The New York Times quoted public health experts as saying that this goal may never be achieved in most low-income countries, especially in light of the preoccupation of international donors, such as the United States, with other priorities. Data from the Our World in Data website, affiliated with the University of Oxford, UK, indicate that vaccination of 70% of the population has only been achieved in a small number of about 83 countries classified as low-income. Among the countries that have succeeded in vaccinating 70% of their population are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal; While the percentage did not exceed 20% in the rest of the poor countries. As for the rich countries, within a short period of time the emergence of COVID-19 vaccines managed to vaccinate 70 percent of their population.

Health experts believe that abandoning the goal of vaccinating 70% of the world’s population involves a serious risk, represented in the possibility of the emergence of highly dangerous viral strains, which would destroy the great efforts made by countries to coexist with the virus. The “Times” indicated that several countries in the Middle East and Eastern Europe are witnessing a sharp decline in the demand for vaccination against Covid-19 during the past few months; Although it has not been able to vaccinate more than a third of its population. But Africa is worse off than the rest of the world. Only less than 17% of the continent’s population received the first dose of Covid vaccines. It is believed that more than half of the vaccines delivered to African countries have not been used. Last month, the number of vaccination doses used in Africa decreased by 35%, compared to the situation in February. The matter was further exacerbated by the lack of international grants to finance the purchase of vaccines for poor countries, and their lack of the necessary budgets to manage the transportation of vaccines, storing them according to the specifications of their manufacturers, and providing the medical personnel necessary to implement vaccination campaigns.

What complicates the matter is that many poor African countries believe that the novel coronavirus epidemic is not as threatening as the threat posed by diseases endemic to that continent, such as malaria and AIDS. This means that these countries are preoccupied with priorities that they consider to be more important and urgent. It should be mentioned in this regard that the number of corona deaths in Africa is generally low. From time to time, other diseases that cause panic break out there, such as measles, which threatens 20 million children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Because of the low demand for vaccination, and the failure to use the millions of doses donated to the countries of the African continent, the African Union was forced not to submit new requests to purchase more Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines. Yesterday, The Times quoted the CEO of the South African Aspen Pharmacare, Stephen Saad, as saying that after the company concluded a contract with Johnson & Johnson to produce, package and market its vaccine on the African continent, and began preparing for the rotation of production engines, the company did not find any purchase offers. From African countries, nor the United Nations Vaccine Distribution Initiative (COFAC). The Indian Vaccine Institute – the largest manufacturer of vaccines in the world, and the Indian Bharat Biotech Company have stopped producing Covid vaccines since the end of 2021, because they did not find buyers!

16 million injuries in Italy

The Italian Ministry of Health announced that it recorded 70,520 new cases of Covid-19, after a day that witnessed 73,212 new cases, while the number of daily deaths from Covid-19 decreased from 202 to 143 deaths (Saturday). The number of deaths in Italy since the outbreak of the Corona virus has risen to 162,609 deaths, the second highest in Europe after Britain (173,352 deaths). Yesterday, the Italian Ministry of Health stated that it had conducted 421,533 examinations (Saturday), compared to 437,193 examinations (Friday). It is reported that the cumulative number of Italian injuries rose yesterday to 16 million since the outbreak of the Corona virus.

Travelers refuse to travel without masks!

Several American airlines announced that, after canceling the mandatory mask at airports, and on their flights; We are ready to provide options to travelers who are reluctant to travel on a flight in which a large number of its passengers have abandoned wearing a mask. Most of the travelers in the coming weeks had booked their flight tickets before the US federal judge issued a decision last Monday to cancel the mandatory wearing of the muzzle on flights. Scott Kirby, CEO of United America, stated that his company is flexible to provide convenient alternatives for travelers who suffer from chronic diseases that weaken their immunity. He added that this includes refunding the value of the ticket to them, and a spokesman for the same company said that travelers, with the exception of holders of lowest-priced tickets, can postpone their travel date without incurring any fines. And a spokeswoman for Delta Airlines announced that the traveler who does not wish to travel in light of the current changes should contact the company. She added that the company deals with these communications according to the nature of each one. And the US Department of Justice announced (Thursday) that it had decided to file an appeal against a federal judge’s decision to abolish the mandatory wearing of a face mask on flights. Legal experts say the administration of President Joe Biden does not want the federal judge’s decision to become a judicial precedent that would limit the powers of the US Centers for Disease Control and Control, the government agency that imposed the mandatory requirement.

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