Vaccination programs are currently on roll-out and countries that vaccinated for COVID-19 are talking. Questions are everywhere, and it is building up people’s anxieties about vaccination. How has the vaccine affected their population? Are the vaccines any good? Should we research more on newer vaccines? Can the vaccines kill the mutated virus? The answers change every day – sometimes for the better and a few times for the worse.
Where in the world has vaccination started?
Since the first injection of the COVID-19 vaccine last December, more and more countries have started vaccination campaigns in their own homes. The whole of North America, more than 90% of South American countries, Australia, Japan, India, China, and more have already started their vaccination programs. The rest, have secured millions of doses of the vaccine and are about to roll them out in the coming weeks. Perhaps, by the end of Spring, almost all countries in the world have vaccinated a portion of their populations.
Also, more COVID-19 vaccines get approved by the World Health Organization as well. The production of the vaccine has leveled up in the past few weeks in competition with the speed of the virus’ mutations. As of the moment, vaccinations are available only to health workers and at-risk populations. Nationwide vaccinations in many countries are in-sight but are still far away.
How are the vaccinations going?
The results are still quite gray, at the moment. However, positive news outweighs negative news. Wealthier countries like China have been donating millions of doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to developing countries. The US has also pledged to donate 4 Billion dollars to a United Nations campaign. What is important is that everyone is getting their hands on the vaccine, and more people are vaccinated each day.
A few problems have arisen but, thankfully, are still solvable. For instance, Japan has computed that they are to dispose of millions of doses because of the lack of syringes. One of the most concerning reports would be that some countries are planning to suspend vaccinations after finding out that the current vaccine doses they have are ineffective with some local variants. This means they would have to re-purchase a different brand, revaccinate, and investigate if new vaccines will work. The side effects occur in smaller populations but are equally concerning. For instance, a few health care workers developed rare blood disorders after their shots.
Vaccination is a trial-and-error game. The results may not be the same with all populations. Luck and science should work hand-in-hand in protecting humans from this pandemic. Right now, all the current vaccines (regardless of side effects) are better than having none at all.
The struggle of developing nations
Based on data, a majority of developing nations are currently struggling to secure vaccines. It may due to local policies, or even lack of funding. In fact, the capability of wealthier countries to purchase millions of doses of vaccines affects the capability of developing nations to purchase doses as well.
As of late February, only Morocco, Rwanda, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Algeria, South Africa, and Seychelles are the countries in the African continent that have already started vaccinating their citizens. According to some observations by experts, many Asian countries have vaccine anxiety and are more cautious in choosing which doses to jab their citizens.
Since wealthier countries have reserved their doses of the vaccine and have established agreements with pharmaceutical companies, all early production of vaccine doses is basically already ‘owned’. Vaccine production that is available for other nations might be available late this year or early next year (2022) unless pharmaceutical companies amp up their production.