Omicron acts as a wake-up call for rich nations about vaccine inequality: Experts

WION Web Team
London, United Kingdom Published: Dec 06, 2021, 03:56 PM(IST)

The Sheba medical centre in Israel published a preliminary study on Monday that found that the fourth shot increases antibodies even higher than the third, although not to the point where it can completely protect against the highly transmissible Omicron variant. Photograph:( AFP )

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This warning was issued after a new set of data (compiled by People’s Vaccine Alliance) revealed that the total number of booster shots administered in the UK is almost equal to the number of fully vaccinated people in poorer countries

As the rich countries rushed to vaccinate their citizens and start the booster shot campaign, it would have been much better if they would have helped poor countries get vaccinated, experts have stated.

Experts have said that the failure to successfully vaccinate the poorer countries against coronavirus led to creation of breeding ground for the Omicron variant.

Scientists have been urging rich countries to focus on the increasing vaccine inequality, especially in the poorer countries around the world. Many parts of the world remained majorly unvaccinated due to lack of funding and resources. This led to the coronavirus mutating in those parts, giving birth to Omicron variant.

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"Omicron is with us because we have failed to vaccinate the world," said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of UNAids and co-chair of the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a campaign group. "This should be a wake-up call.

"Business as usual has led to huge profits for pharmaceutical firms, but many people left unvaccinated means that this virus continues to mutate. It is the definition of madness to keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome. We need to press reset."

This warning was issued after a new set of data (compiled by People’s Vaccine Alliance) revealed that the total number of booster shots administered in the UK is almost equal to the number of fully vaccinated people in poorer countries.

"With the new threat of the Omicron variant, it is clear that we cannot just booster our way out of the pandemic while leaving much of the developing world behind," said Anna Marriott, health policy manager at Oxfam, which is one of about 80 organisations in the People’s Vaccine Alliance. "Unless all countries are vaccinated as soon as possible we could see wave after wave of variants."

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