Friday, 22 October, 2021
E-paper

Global Covid update

Vaccines put the brakes on pandemic's advance

While the global caseload for Covid-19 obviously keeps burgeoning, but as we reported yesterday, the pandemic is on the decline globally, which can be gleaned from the rate at which new cases are being reported. That tells us the number of new cases is now declining in most countries of the world, including those that have been worst-affected.

Experts agree that vaccination is the key to beating the pandemic, and the relative paucity of any alarming outbreaks or unusual spikes for a number of weeks now can be directly related to a substantive proportion of the world population now having received at least one jab of a Covid vaccine, reports UNB.

As of September 19, 5.92 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered globally. Different reporting standards or even definitions mean we don't really know how many are fully vaccinated, but Our World in Data, the data visualisation project run out of Oxford University, does report that 43.1% of the world population has received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

The vaccine doses are being administered (jab) at an impressive clip of 30.04 million per day (global average). If this pace is maintained, and assuming the total number of jabs needed to fully vaccinate the world or at least reach global herd immunity is 14 billion, it will take another 9 months to complete the global vaccination drive.

However there is no hiding from the fact of vaccine inequality, that may complicate the completion of the drive in the days and months ahead. Nearly 80 percent of the 5.92 billion shots that have gone into arms worldwide have been administered in high- and upper-middle-income countries. Only 0.4 percent of doses have been administered in low-income countries.

Africa has the slowest vaccination rate of any continent, with some countries yet to start mass vaccination campaigns.

The total caseload and fatalities from the virus stand at 228,497,223 and 4,691,285, respectively, as of Monday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

The US has logged 42,087,282 cases and 673,763 deaths to date, according to JHU data. But with 64% of the population of the country having received at least one shot of the vaccine, and 54 %, including vast majority of at-risk groups fully vaccinated, most of the 50 states in the union are slowly returning to normalcy.