Dr Clare Wenham, assistant professor of global health policy at the London School of Economics, has warned that life will not return to “normal” or to post-coronavirus operation for at least two years due to the current speed of the global vaccine rollout.
In an interview with Sky News, Dr Wenham said, “At the moment, the data is showing it’s going to be 2023/24 before the global vaccines are distributed to everybody. That’s a long time and distributing some now might be able to get us back to normal life sooner.”
She added, “This pandemic isn’t going to be over until it’s over globally. We’re still going to be living in some form of restrictions – travel restrictions, border controls – even when we’re vaccinated, until it’s over around the world.
“There’s a real imperative to make sure that everybody around the world has at least minimum levels of vaccines at the same time.”
This comes as the World Health Organisation has asked the UK and other countries to pause giving out Covid-19 vaccinations once they have finished distributing them to vulnerable groups in order to ensure that there is fair distribution in poorer countries.
Margaret Harris, spokesperson for the World Health Organisation said, “you can wait” and added, “We’re asking all countries in those circumstances to do that: hang on, wait for those other groups.”
“We’re asking countries, once you’ve got those groups, please ensure that the supply you’ve got access to is provided for others. While that is morally clearly the right thing to do, it’s also economically the right thing to do. There have been a number of very interesting analyses showing that just vaccinating your own country and then sitting there and saying ‘we’re fine’ will not work economically.”
“That phrase ‘no man is an island’ applies economically as well. We in the world, we’re so connected and unless we get all societies working effectively once again, every society will be financially effected.”