On a sweaty, slow summer afternoon, something unusual happened in the Mystical dorm room. Well, it was now unusual but once, it had been routine. Verum’s crystal ball began spinning round and round. Along with this, it made a low humming sound and emanated a blue glow.
Verum rushed to her corner at once! It was time for vaccine news! She gazed into the depths of her trusty crystal ball to understand what was up with Covid-19 vaccination in the world. She said, “Uh-oh, it seems like quite a few countries of the world won’t meet the goal of vaccinating 70% of their populations against Covid.”
Verum looked up from her crystal ball and found her friends staring at her with curious eyes. Before they could say anything, she said, “Let me explain. Sometime in the middle of 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) started promoting a rather challenging goal. By June 2022, at least 70% of the population in every country should be fully vaccinated against coronavirus.
As the month of June approaches, it seems like the world won’t meet this goal. According to data compiled by the ‘Our World in Data’ project of the University of Oxford, out of the world’s 82 poorest countries, only a few have crossed the 70% goal. These include Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Cambodia. On the contrary, many countries haven’t even crossed 20%. Quite a few of these countries are in Africa.”
“What is the reason behind this?” said Scorch.
“Dr. Issac Adewole is a consultant for the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He says there is a loss of momentum,” replied Verum, “Funding from the United States (US) is drying up. It’s super important if the vaccination drives in these countries are to continue. And well, priorities have changed for governments and donors. They are targeting outbreaks of other diseases.”
“Hmm, but what if we give up this goal? Would it be so bad?” said Felix.
“Oh, yes,” said Verum, “Leaving these populations unvaccinated will lead to the development of variants like Omicron. Such variants can evade vaccines and lead to outbreaks once again.”
“In that case, I hope humans stick to this goal,” said Orak.