A new report says low-income countries will fail to vaccinate 70 percent of their population by 2030 unless they are supported by richer nations
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The coronavirus could mutate again within a year if authorities around the world fail to take action to help countries lacking access to vaccinations, experts warn.
A report released in Australia this week points to the long-term dangers of Covid-19 and says the pandemic “will not end for anyone until it ends for everyone”.
According to the document, a survey of 77 epidemiologists from 28 countries found that two-thirds believe that Covid could mutate within a year if authorities don’t act quickly enough.
The report, released on Monday as New South Wales lifted its coronavirus restrictions, said low-income countries will fail to vaccinate 70 percent of their population before 2030 unless they are backed by richer nations.
Experts have asked the Australian government to promise to share an additional 20 million vaccines and invest an additional $ 250 million (£ 135 million) in Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (Covax).
The report says, “Speed is of the essence. If we vaccinate the world faster, the likelihood of mutations will decrease.
“It is in our power to limit the likelihood that the next mutation will be this deadly and disruptive.”
Reverend Tim Costello, a spokesman for the End Covid For All campaign group, said there was a risk of more variants popping up due to a large gap in vaccination rates around the world.
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He said: “The Delta tribe and the havoc it has wreaked across Australia shows that we cannot allow Covid to ramp up and mutate overseas.
“The last thing we want on Freedom Day in NSW is the prospect of more deaths and bans for not doing everything we can to vaccinate the world.
“Firstly, because that is morally wrong. But also because sooner or later the consequences will be felt here. That is why we have to play a leading role in reacting aggressively to this pandemic on a global level.”
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Several countries, including the United States, Israel, and the United Kingdom, have started offering Covid-19 vaccine booster shots.
The British Minister of Health urged people to get a flu shot and a Covid-19 booster vaccination to “protect themselves and their loved ones as best as possible in the coming months”.
Sajid Javid said he “did his part” after getting the flu vaccine at a pharmacy in central London.
Mr Javid said: “In addition to the Covid-19 booster vaccinations, we are launching the largest flu program in our history, with a record 35 million people in England eligible for a free flu shot to protect them this winter.
“I did my part by getting my flu vaccine, and it is important that everyone who is eligible sign up for both their flu and Covid-19 booster vaccinations to help themselves and their loved ones in to offer the best possible protection in the coming months. “
The government has launched the largest flu program in NHS history, with more than 35 million people in England eligible for free vaccination.