- BBC News World
According to Professor Andrew Pollard, the scientist who helped develop the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, regular vaccination of everyone on the planet against COVID-19 is not sustainable, affordable or necessary.
“Vaccinating everyone on the planet every 4 or 6 months is not affordable, sustainable or even necessary,” Pollard told BBC Radio 4’s Today program on Tuesday.
Instead, he added, those most at risk should be identified and prioritized.
“We haven’t succeeded in vaccinating all of the people in Africa with one dose, so we certainly won’t get to a point where we can handle a fourth dose for everyone.”
Several countries in Europe and the United States are breaking records for coronavirus cases due to the effect of the omicron variant, which has been shown to be highly contagious.
For this reason, many countries are already considering a fourth dose, but there are many other countries where the percentage of the population vaccinated with the first two doses needed is really low.
Scientists agree that as long as there are people who have not been vaccinated, the likelihood of variants appearing is greater, in addition to the fact that these people have a higher risk of infection.
“There will be new variants after Omicron,” Pollard predicts. “We still don’t know how they will act, and that could completely change our view of what is the right decision.”
The fact that Omicron is less severe than previous variants, he said, is “good news”. He noted that vaccines “stand up to severe versions of the disease and also withstand serious outcomes.”
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