WHO Warns of Deadlier Variants Returning the World to Pandemic’s “Square One”
Even countries with strong vaccination rates could find themselves back where they were in March 2020 if the globe fails the pandemic test, as World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expects it will.
Ghebreyesus has long urged for high-income countries to help address health-care inequalities by sharing vaccination doses with the most vulnerable people in other countries. Focusing on a country’s own people rather than the entire world’s population permits more virus variations to emerge, and in a global environment, a lethal variety in one area poses a hazard to everyone.
“As other varieties emerge, they have the potential to be even more destructive than the Delta type that is currently wreaking havoc,” Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday. “And the more varieties there are, the more likely one will evade vaccines and send us all back to square one.”
Wealthy countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and countries across Europe have succeeded in vaccinating more than 50% of their people, with some getting near to 70%, the minimum level required for herd immunity. Countries in Africa and the Middle East, on the other hand, are struggling to vaccinate even their most vulnerable populations, such as health care workers and the elderly.
Ghebreyesus described it as a “moral outrage” that some countries were discussing booster doses while others were unable to protect healthcare staff. The pandemic could have been “under control by now” if vaccines had been distributed “more equitably,” according to Ghebreyesus.
Only if the virus gets a chance to spread may mutations occur, which is how the Delta variety was generated. Fortunately, although there have been few breakthrough instances, immunizations have been effective in preventing individuals from developing Delta, and those who do test positive seldom become critically ill or die.
Experts, such as Ghebreyesus, have long warned that not all variations will follow in the same footsteps. Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, tweeted in January that a world where the United States is vaccinated but others aren’t could lead to variants that require vaccinations to be updated. This is a condensed version of the information.