- According to a leading expert, 2022 would be the “year of vaccination” if the previous year marked the year of vaccine development.
- Hopefully, 2022 will also mark the year when anti-Covid drugs emerge, and make treatments more effective, Jerome Kim, director general of the International Vaccine Institute, told CNBC on Monday.
- Kim also highlighted a “clinical gap” that countries need to be “much better at addressing”.
According to a leading expert, if 2021 was the year of vaccine development, 2022 would be the year marked by vaccinations and booster shots.
Jerome Kim, director general of the International Vaccine Institute, said: “2022 will be the year of vaccination – either a primary for those who have not been vaccinated, or a booster vaccination for those of us who have institution.” Research on vaccines for poor countries.
Hopefully, it will also mark the year that anti-Covid drugs emerge, and make treatments more effective, Kim told CNBC’s “Street Science Asia” on Monday.
In late December, the US Food and Drug Administration authorized two antiviral pills to treat COVID-19 for emergency use, a milestone in the fight against the coronavirus, which has since emerged in late 2019. Has killed more than 5.4 million people worldwide.
Pfizer’s COVID oral treatment pill, called Paxlovid, was the first oral antiviral drug approved for emergency use in the US, the second being Merck’s antiviral pill – known as molnupiravir – for mild to moderate It was approved for risk of severe exposure in adults with COVID. Disease.
As 2021 drew to a close, a more-permissive Omicron variant emerged, and cases have soared around the world in recent weeks.
Last week, the caseload in the US hit a record high. Nationwide daily new cases stood at a record seven-day average of more than 265,000 as of Tuesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. This surpassed the previous high of around 252,000 average daily cases set on January 11 last year, the data showed.
In Asia, South Korea said on Friday it would expand restrictions following a surge in serious Covid infections.
Kim said the key priority in 2022 is to get the vaccine to those who need it – especially in poor countries that have limited access.
“Really important point to make – Omicron is not omega and we’re going to see additional mutants and forms of concern, and hopefully we become more equitable in the use of vaccines,” he said.
“Fast, supply [of vaccines] Won’t be the issue. The point will be: who can take that vaccine into the arms of those who need it. It’s going to be important for 2022, it’s getting people vaccinated,” Kim said, adding that there are “significant numbers of people” in low-income countries who haven’t received a single vaccine dose.
According to Data in Our World, approximately 58.3% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, but only 8.5% of people in low-income countries have been vaccinated with at least one dose.
Kim also highlighted a so-called “diagnosis gap” in the diagnosis phase of COVID-19.
“It means that in low-income countries, they don’t do as many tests and they certainly don’t sequence as much,” he said. Such genomic sequencing efforts of coronavirus case samples help in tracking new variants.
He said countries needed to be “much better at addressing” such divisions.
“It is the sequencing of variants from around the world that allows scientists to know if any new worrying variants are emerging,” Kim said. “If we want to open up it’s important to get to the top of it as quickly as possible, because we know air travel spreads the coronavirus quite efficiently.”