Vaccine jabs for 2 million J’cans good, but..

UWI professor: Vaccine jabs for two million J’cans good, however..

BY ALICIA DUNKLEY-WILLIS
Senior employees reporter
dunkleywillisa@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, February 22, 2021

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UNIVERSITY Professor Paul Brown says whereas the information that the Jamaican Authorities plans to amass vaccines for 2 million residents this yr to assist obtain herd immunity towards the novel coronavirus is welcomed, there are vital hurdles forward.

“There are some points by way of vaccine hesitancy and confidence. We all know many individuals won’t take the vaccine, and this contains well being care employees as effectively, however we do not know what number of won’t. And for herd immunity, at the very least 70 per cent of the inhabitants must be vaccinated — as a result of till the inhabitants is protected then no person is protected,” Brown, a professor of molecular biology at The College of the West Indies, stated.

He was showing on digital speak present Coronary heart To Coronary heart on the weekend.

Talking in his private capability, he stated, whereas among the hesitancy has to do with issues akin to people eager to know the elements used, what is definite is that “COVID-19 vaccines work”.

The opposite problem, although, he stated, is that whereas “we expect the vaccine will likely be efficient sufficient to cease the pandemic, we do not understand how lengthy immunity will final. Some suppose it may very well be between three and 6 months, some estimate eight months — solely time will inform whether or not there will likely be long-lasting immunity with any of the vaccines”.

“We are going to see what occurs, however what’s most essential now could be that we’ve got folks vaccinated in order that the pandemic could be stayed,” he advised the viewers.

Within the meantime, he bemoaned the truth that some wealthier international locations have ordered extra vaccine doses than they really want, noting that this has far-reaching implications even for journey.

“Some international locations will likely be effectively protected whereas many others will likely be woefully missing. Regardless that a lot of cash is being spent to supply vaccines, the estimated international capability to supply the vaccines by the businesses will cowl solely two billion programs of vaccination. We’ve near eight billion individuals on the planet, so clearly there will likely be shortfall, and it implies that anyone who does not have the cash to buy the vaccines goes to be omitted. And if you’re omitted you may’t journey both, as a result of proof of both a destructive COVID take a look at or vaccination may be half of what’s required for journey,” he opined.

“Altogether, the businesses concerned within the manufacture of vaccine would not have the capability for all of the international locations on the planet. Clearly there have to be elevated manufacturing; extra capability goes to be wanted if an affordable proportion of the world’s inhabitants goes to be coated.

“What this implies is that we’re going to be having COVID effectively into 2022,” Professor Brown stated.

He stated, whereas it was unlikely that the vaccine may very well be made obligatory for the reason that manufacturing capability is missing, “The numerous problem that can result’s that there may be extreme journey restrictions.”

“In order it’s now, with individuals required to supply a destructive COVID take a look at to journey, then sooner or later that may be one other layer that can trigger points for individuals,” he said.

Jamaica itself is on stream to get between 146,400 and 249,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines by means of the COVAX facility in direction of the top of this month to vaccinate roughly 125,000 residents.

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