Epidemiologists Warned Eight Months Ago, ‘Vaccinate the World’ To Stop Vaccine-Resistant Viruses Spreading
Nov. 30, 2021 (EIRNS)—Epidemiologists around the world have warned that a failure to ensure global administration of COVID-19 vaccines within the next year—at the very latest—could allow vaccine-resistant variants to spread among unprotected populations to such an extent that current shots become ineffective, Jake Johnson wrote in “Experts Warn Failure to Rapidly ‘Vaccinate the World’ Creates Dangerous Opening for Covid-19 Mutations,” for the news site Common Dreams on March 30. The article revealed that dozens of epidemiologists from dozens of countries around the world issued “a loud warning” in late March that failure to ensure global administration of COVID-19 vaccines within a year at most from that time, could allow vaccine-resistant variants to spread among unprotected populations to an extent that would make current shots ineffective.
According to a survey of 77 leading epidemiologists from 28 countries by the People’s Vaccine Alliance—which includes Oxfam, The African Alliance, and UNAIDS—two-thirds said they believe that the international community had “a year or less” before COVID-19 mutations proliferate widely enough to make a majority of first-generation vaccines ineffective, requiring the production of new or modified shots. Nearly a third of the expert respondents said a more likely timeframe for that scenario would be nine months or less.
“With millions of people around the world infected with this virus, new mutations arise every day. Sometimes they find a niche that makes them more fit than their predecessors. These lucky variants could transmit more efficiently and potentially evade immune responses to previous strains. Unless we vaccinate the world, we leave the playing field open to more and more mutations, which could churn out variants that could evade our current vaccines and require booster shots to deal with them.”
said Gregg Gonsalves, associate professor of epidemiology at Yale University, who was quoted by Oxfam’s March 30 press release on the People’s Vaccine survey. “We all have a self-interest in ensuring that everyone around the world, no matter where they live, have access to COVID-19 vaccines. The virus doesn’t respect borders and new variants somewhere on the planet mean none of us are safe.”