As vaccine rollouts proceed around the world, it’s possible to imagine a return to pre-pandemic “normalcy.” The United States aims to vaccinate over 200 million citizens by the end of April. Across the Atlantic, the United Kingdom (UK) is leading the way; already having delivered vaccines to roughly 45% of its population by late March.
While COVID-19 vaccine delivery is a major bright spot for global health and safety, there are reasons for caution. Simply put: the world has entered a new normal and returning to 2019’s “business as usual” remains unlikely.
For starters, many countries, particularly throughout Europe, have struggled to vaccinate their populations. Germany and France sharply lag behind the UK, having only vaccinated about 13% of their citizens. Russia, the world’s 9th largest country by population, manages only 7%. Brazil, the world’s 6th largest country by population, stands at a mere 3-4%.
Inadequate supply, ineffective coordination, poor logistics, and public hesitancy have all played a role in slowing down effective delivery.
Meanwhile, as vaccination lags, there’s been a sharp uptick in cases from certain countries; despite improving weather, Germany has recently seen its highest infection rates since January while a surge in new daily infections has created a massive public health crisis in Brazil
Layered on top of this has been massive variation in the efficacy of different vaccines. China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines have drawn criticism for lower efficacy rates. In Europe, the much-heralded Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine faces a backlash over fears it increases blood clot risk.
Finally, coronavirus mutations pose an ongoing challenge that requires constant vigilance. Vaccines that work well today may prove powerless in the face of newer, potentially deadlier strains.
While the global outlook is improving, all of this suggests the spectre of COVID-19 will remain for the foreseeable future. As it does, KOGI will continue delivering contactless digital solutions geared towards helping businesses, governments, and consumers alike thrive in this “new business normal.”