While immunization programs in major countries have been making headway in the fight against COVID-19, their collective progress on a global scale is not so significant, with only three percent of the world’s population vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, humanitarian NGO Project HOPE chief health officer said.
“We should not let ourselves be misled by this early domestic progress when the majority of Americans remain unvaccinated and when only three percent of the global population has been fully vaccinated,” said the NGO’s chief health officer Dr. Tom Kenyon in a press statement released on Tuesday.
As of yet, just 56 percent of vaccine doses have been administered in wealthier nations which only make up for 16 percent of the world’s population, meaning that just 10 percent of people in some low-income countries will be inoculated within the next 12 months, Kenyon said.
“The global vaccine inequity needs to be addressed because it is the right thing to do from a humanitarian standpoint, but also to prevent the global proliferation of other variants that threaten the usefulness of current diagnostic tests, therapies and vaccines,” he added.
Kenyon, who previously worked with the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), believes that, in order to get back to normal we must, “remain in a pandemic emergency-mode” and that it is instrumental, now more than ever, to take the necessary precautions against the virus.
“It is not only our human imperative to make vaccines accessible to all countries faster and in sufficient quantities, but also our only viable way out of this global health crisis,” he concluded.
According to the New York Times’ vaccine tracker, over 678 million vaccine doses have already been administered globally, meaning that the ratio is now at 8.8 doses per 100 people. This indicates a stark gap between inoculation programs in different countries.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, over 131 million cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed and more than 2.86 million deaths have been recorded, an AFP tally showed.