Health

A global battle against Covid that stands in the way

“We are at a very critical stage in the fight against Kovid. “And I can not say that I am particularly optimistic about how things are going,” said Mihir Mankad, Senior Policy Advisor for Doctors Without Borders. “It has almost always been the case that countries take care of themselves in the first place during a pandemic. Now this is only intensified, especially because … Covid’s mortal threat has been reduced in areas with high coverage rates. ”

The intensity and urgency with which the global healthcare community has been battling Covid-19 for the past two years is declining, despite the fact that millions of people remain unvaccinated. And it is unclear whether the scourge will return if the richer countries decide that the pandemic threat will disappear. This concern has spread for months between the World Health Organization and other groups – particularly those serving the population in Africa.

“Vaccines remain incredibly important in getting the most at risk in every country, as they continue to save lives,” Maria Van Kerkhove, Covid-19 technical leader at the World Health Organization, told reporters earlier this month. “But they can only save lives among the people who receive them.”

Other health advocates argue that Covid-19 should no longer be considered a health emergency because there is sufficient initial immunity to manage hospitalization through pre-infection and vaccination. While they continue to promote immunization and improve therapeutic delivery to combat the pandemic, organizations are raising funds to pandemic preparedness – focusing on stopping the next Covid.

Different strategies have sparked controversy in the global healthcare community over how to deal with the next step in the Covid-19 battle. And this reality has left people in African countries with the idea that extra funding or aid is coming. Even in Ghana, where the government has just received significant funding for vaccinations – more so than many other countries in the region – the prospect of losing the attention of the global health community is troubling, especially as world health systems and infrastructure pledge to help. Improvements are at risk.

Meanwhile, Covid infections and hospitalization are on the rise in Europe and China as Omicron and its sub-variants spread and vaccination rates, including boosters, have stagnated in many parts of the world. With the vaccine declining in effectiveness and among other public health mitigators, World Health Organization officials say vaccination is more important than ever, and countries must deliver on their promises to help low- and middle-income countries vaccinate their people.

“It’s not at all enough to focus on what is really needed to expand vaccination programs, especially for adults, who, by the way, we do not really have global models for in the extended period of vaccination of the entire adult population,” said Ernest Darko. , Co-founder of BroadReach Group, a healthcare company working to expand the African healthcare system. “It’s not something we have to step back from now.”

Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations are now at a controlled level in the Western world and Ghana. But many are worried about what would happen if another epidemic struck the West African nation. Much of its population of more than 31 million does not live close to the hospital and relies on the care of local community centers, most of which do not have adequate facilities to treat Covid-19. Although the Ghanaian government has purchased tens of millions of doses, it is still fighting beyond arms. And officials here say they need help with the last mile effort.

This is true for many low-income nations, especially in Africa. Nevertheless, part of the global health community has changed course and focused on vaccinating 90 percent of the vulnerable population in all countries, instead of 70 percent of the total population – the original goal set by WHO last year. And international consortia that help deliver vaccines to low- and middle-income countries, including COVAX, the global vaccine facility, are moving forward with country leadership: each country decides how many doses to order and where to send them. . This means that many young people living in rural areas may not get a job.

WHO has launched an alert campaign to combat any slowdown in response, with officials calling on rich countries to meet their commitments to facilitate vaccination in regions such as Africa.

Meanwhile, on the Capitol, lawmakers are still trying to help fund the Covid-19 international effort, but find it difficult to quarrel over votes and develop a mechanism for obtaining additional funding. The White House is also preparing to host the global Covid-19 summit and plans to ask other countries to spend more money to strengthen the last mile effort. But Biden senior officials are not optimistic that the May 12 event will deliver significant financial promises, especially if the U.S. is not ready to stand on its own two feet, according to two related figures.

In countries with low vaccination rates, it is hoped that the prevalence of the disease, especially the Omicron subtype BA.2, will remain limited – although this is not certain. Even in regions with high vaccination rates, senior global health officials are concerned about the decline in vaccine immunity and the ability of boosters to maintain Covid-19 cases and hospitalization at long-term managed levels. This has led people like Anthony Fauch, President Joe Biden’s Chief Medical Officer, to consider a short-term Covid-19 strategy without a vaccine that not only does not block infection but also becomes less effective against severe disease over time.

“I do not think we will be able to keep people vaccinated every four months,” Fauci said. “[But] I think it is likely that we will be stuck in intermittent amplification until we get a vaccine that will have a durable degree of protection, be it mRNA followed by protein amplification or mRNA followed by nanoparticle amplification.

In Ghana, very few people, including in Accra, have taken the booster dose – and many may not take it, officials here say, mainly because of the hesitation of the vaccine that specifically emerged around the third dose. As a result, countries like Ghana may soon have a part of the population with impaired immunity and a population that refuses a third blow. In such cases, empowerment campaigns are unlikely to help protect against future upgrades. Even in countries with higher primary series vaccinations, such as Canada, people do not mass-produce boosters.

“About 80 percent of all Canadians have received two doses. “Nevertheless, we are in the fifth wave of large numbers of hospitalizations across the country,” said Jean-Yves Duclos, Canada’s health minister. “We are concerned that only 48 percent of Canadians have received a third dose. We absolutely need to increase booster dose rates if we want to maintain proper general alertness. ”

So what is it? Fauch’s answer: This is not a definite result, but most likely the world will enter a phase of a pandemic when vaccination and pre-infection immunity will have enough people to keep the number relatively low on average.

“It’s essentially sort of where most people will have some degree of protection, just as we have some degree of protection from the many other respiratory diseases we’re dealing with so you do not have so many illnesses, so many deaths that it dominates society,” Fauci said.

Nevertheless, officials such as Fauch and Duclos are concerned that the virus will continue to mutate and block immunity in the coming months until more resistant vaccines are developed. Several pharmaceutical companies are working on footage that protects them from specific options and others that protect more than one, but it is unknown when they will hit the shelves.

“There is a high degree of uncertainty about what will happen next from an epidemiological perspective,” Mankad said. “It seems very likely that it will just come back to us, as it has for the last two years.”

A global battle against Covid that stands in the way

Source link A global battle against Covid that stands in the way

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