Controlling the virus globally: “we are far from the mark”

Low vaccination rates in some more disadvantaged countries are significantly hampering the global effort to combat COVID-19.

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“The way out of the crisis, both locally and globally, will happen when we have control over the pandemic everywhere in the world. A vaccination that has reached 60% yes, but when we look at low-income populations we are at the bottom of 10%”, mentions Dr. Joanne Liu, professor specializing in pandemic emergencies.

Rich countries will have to make an extra effort to help those with low incomes to increase access to vaccines, otherwise they risk having the unpleasant surprise of encountering new waves.

“To get to the finish line, you have to vaccinate a larger part of the world’s population, 10% in low-income countries, it’s not enough to reach a control situation,” she adds. .

She also believes that Western countries have been lucky so far with the Omicron variant because it is not as deadly as its predecessor.

“Yes, we were lucky because we could have had the combination of transmission as high as the Omicron, but with the mortality as high as the Delta and it would have been a very nasty combination. Yes we are worried, but it is still part of the possible scenarios, we hope that we will go towards the other trend and that it will be less virulent, ”explains the professor.

Several countries are slowly starting to remove health restrictions, such as in France, but also in Ontario.

“It is always a precarious balance to have between the means or the resources to absorb the impact of the virus at the level of sick people externally, but also internally, at the level of intensive care”, mentions the doctor.

However, the specialist reminds us that in Quebec we must remain very careful.