Omicron’s emergence is no surprise, as richer countries’ broken promises lead to low vaccination rates – and virus mutation
The world is hostage to what’s been called “a cycle of panic and neglect”. The Omicron variant, while we wait for clarification on its many unknowns, has sparked the latest bout of that panic. But it is a panic born directly of selfish insularity: as wealthy nations have amassed enough surplus vaccines to inoculate their entire populations many times over, in low-income countries just a small percentage have received even a single dose.
Even with the ambitious booster programmes, there are still plenty of unused doses sitting in the warehouses of western nations. So there’s no need to make a choice between vaccinating low-income countries or offering boosters in wealthy nations: we can still do both. New analysis from the data company Airfinity finds that, even with booster policies taken into account, in the G7 and EU there will still be close to 1.4bn surplus doses by the end of March 2022. It’s bordering on criminal that these are not being urgently airlifted to countries in need.
Read the original article at The Guardian