The global vaccination campaign against the coronavirus entails unprecedented challenges in its scale, speed, and specificities, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, the World Bank stated in a report released on Thursday.
The report tracks the availability of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in more than 100 low- and middle-income countries in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UNICEF, and the Global Fund and the Vaccine Alliance (GAVI).
The world’s poorest countries are at varying degrees of readiness for the massive undertaking of vaccinating their populations against the virus, according to the report.
It showed that 85 percent of world countries have developed national vaccination plans, 68 percent have vaccine safety systems, 30 percent have developed trainings for the large number of vaccinators, and 27 percent have created social mobilisation and public engagement strategies to encourage people to be vaccinated.
The report found that the majority of countries are focusing on strengthening the basic aspects of the vaccine delivery chain, which is enough to advance vaccination schedules and begin inoculating their populations.
“The pandemic’s devastating toll on health and economies, fear of highly contagious variants and public pressure to start vaccinations have prompted many countries to prepare aggressive vaccine delivery schedules,” the report stated.
COVID-19 vaccination campaigns offer unique opportunities for countries to develop specialised digital systems to track vaccines and their safety as well as vaccinated individuals and report adverse reactions, the World Bank said.
During the first wave of the pandemic, the World Bank allocated $12 billion for developing countries to purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments and strengthen health and vaccination systems to make vaccines available to those who need them.
The report called for adopting strategies meant to generate confidence, acceptance, and demand for the vaccine in developing countries.
“The pandemic has delivered an enormous shock to the global economy, exacting a large human toll, shutting down major economic sectors and deeply upending labour markets,” said the report.
It unveiled that the virus has infected over 115 million people globally, killing over 2.5 million, and has disrupted millions of lives and livelihoods in the deepest global recession in eight decades.
The situation resulted in a contraction in the per capita incomes in the vast majority of countries, tipping approximately 100 million additional people into extreme poverty in 2021.
This figure is expected to jump to 150 million people by the end of the year, stated the report.