Leading researchers are warning that it will be less than a year before the coronavirus mutates and the first-generation vaccines are ‘rendered ineffective‘
Health experts including epidemiologists, virologists and infectious disease specialists expressed their concerns in a survey by the People’s Vaccine Alliance, where they stressed the urgency of getting all countries vaccinated.
But never fear, world leaders are already pushing for a new international treaty to prepare the world for the next and future global pandemics.
25 heads of sate, the European Union, and the World Health Organization (WHO) have backed the idea for more globalism.
Al Jazeera reports: Seventy-seven scientists – from leading academic institutions from around the globe – participated in the surveywith about 30 percent suggesting second-generation vaccines will be needed as soon as in nine months, unless vaccines become more widely produced and distributed around the world.
Nearly 90 percent of the researchers said more vaccine-resistant mutations are likely because of extremely “low vaccine coverage” in many countries, mostly developing ones.
At the current rate, it is likely that only 10 percent of people in the majority of poor countries will be vaccinated in the next year, according to The People’s Vaccine Alliance, a coalition of more than 50 organisations.
The alliance called for the lifting of pharmaceutical monopolies and the sharing of technology to urgently boost vaccine supplies.
“The more the virus circulates, the more likely it is that mutations and variants will emerge, which could make our current vaccines ineffective. At the same time, poor countries are being left behind without vaccines and basic medical supplies like oxygen,” said Devi Sridhar, professor of global public health at the University of Edinburgh.
“As we’ve learned, viruses don’t care about borders. We have to vaccinate as many people as possible, everywhere in the world, as quickly as possible. Why wait and watch instead of getting ahead of this?”
‘Must take control’
According to the survey, 66 percent of the researchers said human beings have a year or less before the virus mutates and the majority of first-generation vaccines are “rendered ineffective”. Eighteen percent said we have six months or less, and 33 percent predicted about nine months.
The alliance called on all pharmaceutical corporations working on COVID-19 vaccines to openly share their technology and intellectual property through the World Health Organization COVID-19 Technology Access Pool to speed up production and distribution of the jabs around the world.
“If we were in a war with a country called COVID, would governments leave vital decisions on production, supply and price in the hands of arms-producing companies?” said Dr Mohga Kamal Yanni, senior health policy advisor to The People Vaccine Alliance.
“Given vaccines are our most crucial weapon in the fight against COVID-19, world leaders must take control.”