A survey, published Tuesday, with 77 epidemiologists, virologists, and infectious disease specialists participating, from some of the world’s leading academic institutions in 28 different countries, was conducted by the People’s Vaccine Alliance. The survey concluded that COVID-19 mutations may render current vaccines ineffective, within a year, CNBC reports.
About 33% of those responding to the survey estimated that the current COVID vaccines would be rendered ineffective in less than nine months.
However, about 12.5% of those surveyed opined that COVID mutations would not render current vaccines ineffective.
While about 66% of those surveyed agreed that current vaccine effectiveness had only, “a year or less before the virus mutates to the extent that the majority of first-generation vaccines are rendered ineffective and new or modified vaccines are required,” said CNBC.
The survey was conducted by the People’s Vaccine Alliance — whose mission statement includes: “Our best chance of ending this pandemic is to ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments. But pharmaceutical monopolies could leave countries in the global south waiting up to 2023 for widespread vaccination. This threatens everyone as no-one is safe until everyone is safe,” according to peoplesvaccine.org.
Most experts polled in the survey are of the opinion, that because only 10% of people in most the world’s economically poorer countries would likely be vaccinated in the next year, this situation would make it more likely for vaccine resistant COVID mutations to appear rendering current vaccines ineffective.
Experts generally agree that current vaccines must be deployed far and wide to prevent variants from surfacing.
The pandemic has already led to over 128 million coronavirus infections worldwide and over 2.8 million deaths, while 103 million have survived the infection.
The US, Brazil, India, France, Russia, and the U.K. have been the hardest hit generally, but COVID variants have become more dominant, particularly in those counties where they were first discovered such as the U.K., South Africa, and Brazil, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, CNBC reports.
The spread of more infectious (and in some cases, potentially more deadly) variants of the virus in the latter half of 2020 made the race to vaccinate as many people as possible a global priority.
Still, most vaccine developing countries are said to be trying to vaccinate their own population first before exporting the doses elsewhere, according to CNBC.
The People’s Vaccine Alliance said it was calling for “the lifting of pharmaceutical monopolies and the sharing of technology to urgently boost vaccine supply.”
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