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Coronavirus Vaccination Globally – An Update – Genomic Enterprise Blog

Coronavirus Vaccination Globally – An Update

Image Source: STAT News

In my last blog post last year, I’ve wrote about the obstacles, especially the logistics involved in the vaccination of the world population for the Covid-19 disease. After some months and the vaccination ongoing in different countries we can have an idea on how unprepared for this the world was and still is. Countries such as the United States surpassed ~20% of the population vaccinated with at least the first dose (for more information check the “Our World Data” website for all the numbers and metrics for all countries). In the meantime, different variants and mutations started to scare the researchers and doctors. Strains that infect and spread faster and some more deadly. Moreover, several questions still remain for everyone: What is the best vaccine to take? Which one should I take? Are all of them 100% safe? When I will get vaccinated? The vaccines being distributed and used right now will be able to protect me and my family from the new variants and mutant viruses? Unfortunately, we don’t have answers yet to these questions. In addition, one terrible thing that I criticize a lot is the disparity on how each country is dealing with the vaccination of their population. For example, in Brazil there is a chaotic fight between the state governors and the president. Each state has a policy, some cities are partially locked down right now and others are not. Brazil’s strategy and logistics shows how my home country is disorganized and polarized. Putting politics in front of saving lives is the worst attitude ever, but that is what is going on there. It is unbelievable that people there (and in other places of the world) still believe that the virus is “fake” and that this pandemic is a fabrication of the mainstream media. Fake news is still dominating and helping disseminate miraculous treatments that are not scientifically and clinically proven to work. There is no standardized treatment protocol for infected patients, meaning that each case will be treated differentially. On the other hand, countries such as the United States already have vaccinated (at least the first dose) more than 60+ million people – in a very chaotic and confusing way. It is so sad to see people that could be saved by any of these vaccines approved and available, but they are not able to get it on time because of the political disputes everywhere. What is happening to us? We sometimes treat animals such as dogs and cats (our pets) better than our neighbors. Nobody cares about the unity of humankind as a species; the world is polarized and individualized. Sir Anthony Hopkins, the famous actor of 83 years old, just gave an interview to the magazine “The New Yorker” and he said something that has caught my attention: “The great liberation for me is to know that we are insignificant, that finally it’s all a dream within a dream. Look at this moment. The pandemic has got us worried, because we thought we knew everything. We don’t. We’re in the grips of an invisible little microbe.” Indeed, complex human beings already went through deadly pandemics in the past caused by microbes (either bacteria or viruses) and these invisible beings and particles can indeed expose us to a mass extinction. In Hopkins’ words, we don’t know everything and will never do. We live in a world that humans are a minority compared to the amount of other animals and microbes that live on earth. Thus, we will be always exposed to sometimes deadly microbes (especially viruses). So, my update for the vaccination against the Covid-19 disease is that it is still confusing, each country having a different policy (Israel is an example with almost all its population vaccinated) and now new strains of the virus making things even more complex and challenging. Like I’ve wrote in my last blog post (“Humankind’s Biggest Biomedical Experiment”), we are indeed in the middle of the biggest experiment of humankind. Interestingly, we are the guinea pigs right now. My take home message is for everyone to get vaccinated independent on the type of vaccine. I believe this will be better than get exposed to an infection with the virus and eventually die. That is a fact!

Published by Fabricio Costa

Dr. Costa has obtained his Ph.D. in the worldwide renowned Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. He has completed his training for two years at the Massachusetts General Hospital, affiliated with Harvard University in Boston, MA. He works now as a research scientist at Children’s Memorial Research Center and Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. He has published several peer-reviewed articles in the cancer research, genomics and epigenomics fields and has worked as a consultant for newspapers in the biotech sector. He has also given interviews to the scientific journal "Nature Biotechnology" and to the british magazine "The Economist" about his work. Dr Costa was also a reviewer for ~16 articles from different journals, currently work as a consultant for two research groups in Brazil in the epigenetics field (one in Sao Paulo and the other in Curitiba) and has also evaluated projects for the “Bando Giovani” or “Young Investigator Award” promoted by the Italian Ministry of Health in Italy.

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