More than 90 million people have fallen ill with CoVID-19 since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, and for 1.94 million it has proved fatal. And while China has managed to resolve the crisis quite smoothly, the United States and Europe are not doing so well, and now we have to contend with a new strain, the so-called British, which appears to be more infectious. Therefore, the only effective remedy seems to be the vaccination that will achieve herd immunity, provided that about 70% of the population will decide to do so. This is problematic for at least two reasons, firstly, some people do not want to vaccinate, and secondly, we still have problems with the availability of vaccinations.
And although the German concern BioNTech has announced that it has increased production and will produce 2 billion this year instead of the predicted 1.3 billion doses, it is still a drop in the ocean of needs. What’s more, the company’s scientists suggest that CoVID-19 may become an endemic disease, i.e. it will be present in certain areas to a certain extent over the years, so vaccinations will have to fight the emergence of new strains that naturally weaken the immune response. Taking all this into account, WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan warns that production and vaccination take time to produce and vaccinate, so this year we must forget about achieving herd immunity.
– We will not reach any level of herd immunity in 2021, so physical distancing, washing hands and wearing face masks must be the first priority – he explains. However, not everyone is going to give up, which is why the British have just opened 7 mass vaccination points in several places in England, hoping that they will have time to vaccinate as many people as possible before the 3rd wave of coronavirus hits them with full force and impedes or interrupts the process. Nevertheless, they are also aware of their situation, and as UK government chief medical adviser Chris Whitty explains in an interview with the BBC, “The next few weeks will be the worst in this numerical pandemic. What do we need to do before the vaccines take effect… we need to redouble our lockdown efforts. A similar approach can also be seen in other countries, which extend and tighten restrictions, and currently the safest place in the world seems to be … Wuhan, the source of all pandemic disasters.
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