Vaccination considered “golden key” for COVID-19 control

Vaccination has been considered a “golden key” to prevent and control the COVID-19 pandemic; however, despite the efforts made by the international community, the chances of overcoming the pandemic are very different between regions, and Africa is in danger of being "left behind".

A health worker injecting COVID-19 vaccine to a child in Los Angeles, California, the US. (Photo: AFP/VNA)
A health worker injecting COVID-19 vaccine to a child in Los Angeles, California, the US. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

As of the afternoon of September 22, over six billion doses of vaccines against COVID-19 had been administered to people around the world, including 2.18 billion in China, 826.5 million in India and 386.8 million in the US. Among countries with a population of 1 million or more, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is leading in terms of its COVID-19 vaccination rate, with 81% of the population fully vaccinated.

To ensure safe living with COVID-19, the US authorised COVID booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for people aged 65 and older and those who are at high risk of severe disease and SARS-CoV-2 virus. Accordingly, tens of millions of Americans are eligible for an extra injection that is at least six months after their second dose of vaccine. Earlier, Belgium's Superior Health Council also approved to give third shots to people who live in nursing homes and are 85 years or older.

However, besides these bright spots, the global "vaccination picture" still has worrying dark spots. Statistics show that out of the over six billion doses that have been given globally, only 2% have been administered in Africa. Just 3.6% of the eligible population in the “black continent” has been inoculated, while this rate in Europe reaching over 60%. Only 0.3% of doses of vaccines injected worldwide have gone to low-income countries, with 79% going to upper-middle and high-income countries.

World Health Organisation’s Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, said that achieving the goal of vaccinating 40% of the population in the “black continent” by December will be difficult. African leaders called on rich countries to fulfil their pledges of vaccine support, otherwise loss of life is inevitable.

The world has been joining hands in efforts to produce and cover COVID-19 vaccines and considering vaccination a golden key to open a new safe normal for humanity. However, as long as the imbalance in the use of COVID-19 vaccines continues, the day of victory over the pandemic will remain distant.

Translated by NDO