Funding to Reach the Goal of Vaccinating 70% of the World
Within less than a month, Omicron has become the most widespread variant in the US. The impact has been another round of lives being disrupted by illness and uncertainty. For some, it feels like we are right back where we started in 2020. The difference this time is that we have vaccines meant for those who are vaccinated and boosted, a milder case of the virus.
The question of when this will all end for the world is being asked again. The answer is that it depends on what we do next. The good news for those in high-resource countries is that we have vaccines. Thus, half of the world’s population has received at least one shot, but that is only in the wealthiest countries. If we do not want to be in this exact spot of another variant again in 2023, we need to get serious about vaccinating the globe.
In 50 less-resourced countries, less than 25% have received vaccines. This leaves a large percentage of the world unvaccinated and the virus lots of places to create new mutations.
The United States and other countries have donated vaccines over time, but that is only half the issue. They have to donate them and make sure they get to those in need. Additionally, we must help build the vaccine infrastructure needed to get those shots in arms. This means helping to train vaccinators, amplify cold storage, and increase vaccine production, so we get lots of shots in a short amount of time.
The US has shown strong leadership in the global fight against COVID, but more work must be done. That is why it is crucial that Congress and the Biden administration urgently provide the resources and funding to reach the goal of vaccinating 70% of the world by September 2022.
The only way to see a return to everyday life is to beat this virus everywhere. If we want to protect our jobs, economy, families, and those most in need, then we need to vaccinate the world to end the pandemic for good.
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