Covid vaccine (representative image). Photograph:( Reuters )
Scientists fear that the mutations of the virus that continue to emerge around the world would get in the way of the efficacy of the current vaccines
A survey of epidemiologists and virologists has revealed that the planet has less than a year before new vaccines are needed to fight coronavirus. The first-generation of the vaccine could be rendered ineffective in less than year, with scientists urging for a fast-paced inoculation programme to contain COVID-19.
Scientists fear that the mutations of the virus that continue to emerge around the world would get in the way of the efficacy of the current vaccines. Many of these variants are more contagious and deadly than the first strain that emerged in Wuhan, China.
The survey was undertaken by People’s Vaccine Alliance - a coalition of organisations like Amnesty International, UNAIDS, and Oxfam. It found that two-thirds of respondents claimed that the vaccines only have a year, while one-third of them claimed that we have less than nine months. 77 scientists from 28 countries participated in the survey.
Owing to the lesser number of inoculations in many countries, many mutations capable of bypassing the current vaccines could soon appear - a sentiment echoed by 88 per cent respondents who work at prestigious institutions like Yale, Johns Hopkins, Imperial College, etc.
Until mass vaccinations stop the spread of the current strains, new strains will keep popping up, and many of those could cancel out the scope of vaccines.
Inequity in terms of inoculation is another issue plaguing the world right now, with rich countries like US and UK having inoculated a quarter of their population with at least the first dose.
On the other hand, countries like South Africa and Thailand haven’t even vaccinated 1 per cent of their populations, with many countries still unable to administer their first dose.