International Vaccine Institute on Covid Vaccinations

A COVID-19 vaccination cardholder will be handed out at a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club on December 21, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ethan Miller | Getty Images

If 2021 were the year of vaccine development, 2022 would be a year marked by vaccinations and boostershots, according to a leading expert.

“2022 will be the year of vaccination – whether primarily for people who are not vaccinated, or booster intentions for those of us who have,” said Jerome Kim, director general of the International Vaccine Institute, an independent nun -profit dedicated to researching faxes for poor countries.

Hopefully, it will also mark the year that anti-Covid drugs will come forward, and make treatment more effective, Kim told CNBC’s Street Signs Asia on Monday.

In late December, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized two antiviral pills to treat Covid-19 for emergency use, a milestone marked in the fight against the coronavirus that has killed more than 5.4 million people worldwide since its emergence in late 2019.

Pfizer’s Covid oral treatment pill, called Paxlovid, was the first oral antiviral drug released for emergency use in the US. disease.

As 2021 came to an end, the more transmissible omicron variant emerged, and cases around the world have increased in recent weeks.

Last week, the caseload in the US hit a record high. Nationwide daily new cases were at a record seven-day average of more than 265,000 as of Tuesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. It surpassed the previous high mark of about 252,000 average daily cases set on January 11 last year, the data showed.

In Asia, South Korea said Friday that it will expand restrictions following an increase in serious Covid infections.

Get vaccinated for those who need it

The top priority in 2022 is getting vaccines for people who need them – especially those in poorer countries who have limited access to them, Kim said.

“A really critical point to make – omicron is not the omega and we will see additional mutants and variants of care, and hopefully we will become more judicious in the use of faxes,” he said.

“More and more, supply [of vaccines] will not be the problem. The question will be: Who can get that vaccine in the arms of people who need the vaccination. That will be the key for 2022, it will vaccinate people, “Kim said, adding that there is a” significant number of people “in low-income countries who have not received a single dose of vaccine.

About 58.3% of the world population has received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, but only 8.5% of people in low-income countries are vaccinated with at least one dose, according to Our World in Data.

World needs to address ‘diagnostic cap’

Kim also marked a so-called “diagnostic gap” in the diagnosis stage of Covid-19.

“That means they don’t do as many tests in lower-income countries and certainly don’t do as many sequences,” he said. Such efforts for genomic sequencing of samples of coronavirus cases help to track new variants.

He added that countries “need to become much better at tackling” such a separation.

“It’s the sequence of variants from all over the world that scientists can know if a new healthcare variant is emerging,” Kim said. “Getting to the top as fast as possible is the key when we want to open up, because we know that air travel spreads the coronavirus quite efficiently.”

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