KT edit: Covid vaccine and logistical challenges

Published: Tue 17 Nov 2020, 12:11 AM

Vaccines can take years to be ready for use. Yet, in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, countries the world over have turbocharged science and we are seeing promising results from various corners. Moderna Inc is the second American company to have said that its experimental vaccine is 94.5 per cent effective in preventing Covid-19 infection. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and hopes are rising that we might have a vaccine soon to contain the pandemic. But this also bears asking the critical question, how well are the countries prepared to transport or receive these vaccines.

Almost 70 per cent of the global population must be inoculated to end the pandemic, as per the World Health Organization. And this could prove the biggest hurdle, considering many countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America lack basic health infrastructure. It would be a logistical nightmare in the face of tropical heat, remoteness of communities on islands and rural places, and a dearth of ultra-cold freezers for the safe transport of the vaccine that needs to be stored at sub 70 degree Celsius. The only way to end this paralysing pandemic is by widening the reach of the Covid vaccine. And that can only be done by building an infrastructure that allows everyone on the planet to be inoculated. No country can do this alone. It needs concerted efforts and generous support by rich countries. Solidarity will help us overcome this crisis.

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