With the fears mounting about the Omicron variant, vaccines have once again become our saviour. Clinicians and politicians alike are urging us to get vaccinated or boosted. It is incredible to think that this time last year we did not have any approved Covid vaccines and the news of another, even more aggressive variant could have tipped us into full blown crisis mode (or what’s the level above ‘full blown crisis’?).
On 2nd December 2020, the UK medicines regulator, the MHRA, granted the first Covid vaccine regulatory approval. This news was a game changer. Thinking back to that time, we were so hopeful that the worst was behind us now that we had a vaccine that could get us back to normal.
The absolutely heroic efforts of the clinicians and administrators around the world have since delivered almost 8 billion doses worldwide, and saved countless lives. It has been an incredible demonstration of the power of a common cause, driven by the deep sense of what it is to be human; to protect, to cherish and to love.
There are now 8 vaccines approved by the WHO, and the manufacturers are working urgently to tweak the recipe to ensure that Omicron variant doesn’t overtake our immune systems. As we give thanks for the scientists and clinicians who give us renewed hope, it is clear that in the UK we are incredibly lucky to have a government and NHS that will foot the bill and make delivering vaccines for free to all adults look easy.
In other countries, people are not all so lucky. In low-income countries only 5.8% of people have received a first dose. There is much to do. Our Vax4Vax programme has been running for the past 30 days to, in a small way, pay it forward. The vaccinations sites in England who use our software to record the vaccinations that they deliver to NHS patients, have been helping to donate funds for vaccine doses for those who will depend on international support to get the same protection for themselves and their families.
All our vaccination sites in England, and the whole Eva team, can be proud to pay it forward in the global fight against Covid-19.
- The UK has approved a COVID vaccine — here’s what scientists now want to know: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-03441-8
- WHO Status of Covid Vaccines – Nov 2021: https://extranet.who.int/pqweb/sites/default/files/documents/Status_COVID_VAX_11Nov2021.pdf
- Our World in Data: https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations#citation