Imagine a place where COVID-19 never ends. Where the virus just constantly mutates, crosses borders, and wreaks havoc on our lives and livelihoods. Where life as we know it doesn‘t return for anyone. It sounds horrible right?
We already imagined such a place with our animated series Pandemica which we released six months ago. We made it as a warning.
But millions of people are already living in this grim reality. And it will only get worse if global leaders don‘t act now.
Here are four signs that the world is already there (and one easy way we can all escape).
There are already variants of the virus
We made a video starring a new variant of the virus preparing for its big global debut. “And…action!”
But knowing what we know now we should have named the variant “Delta.”
The world is already experiencing multiple variants of COVID-19. And as the virus remains unchecked more and more variants are likely to develop.
Our current vaccines could be less effective against these variants, risking all the progress we‘ve made to date.
The only way to fight this is to prioritize fair and equal access to vaccines.
One of the biggest challenges to equal and fair access to vaccines is countries buying up more supplies than they need. This, in turn, prevents other countries from accessing doses for their populations.
Less than 2% of the doses administered globally have gone to low-income countries. Many low-income countries don‘t even have enough vaccines for high-risk individuals or frontline healthcare workers
Meanwhile, wealthy countries are discussing booster shots. This will only prolong the pandemic.
As long as the virus remains unchecked in other parts of the world, it will threaten lives and livelihoods everywhere.
There‘s no global plan
A global pandemic demands a global response. The only way this ends is for world leaders to create a united global plan to fight the pandemic and its effects.
Unfortunately, we‘re still waiting for one.
World leaders need to step up and do what we expect them to do… lead.
With COVID-19 still raging globally and millions of people left vulnerable to the virus, inaction is not an option.
We need our leaders to adopt a global plan to vaccinate 70% of adults in all countries by September 2022 and end the pandemic everywhere once and for all.
Challenges to funding
COVAX is a vaccine initiative designed to “accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines” globally. The initiative was designed to provide fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines around the world. But over the last year, a combination of challenges- including rich countries getting priority on vaccine supply, an overall lack of funding, and supply chain issues-have undermined COVAX‘s ability to deliver.
Without addressing these barriers, including the lack of funding for COVAX, vaccines cannot reach the most vulnerable, the virus will continue to spread, and the world will be pushed further into a Pandemica-like reality.
How we can escape
World leaders will virtually gather for the annual UN General Assembly this week. There will also be a pandemic summit. We need the leaders of wealthy countries to step up and commit to a plan to end the pandemic. This is our best chance to tell them that we will only accept bold and concrete action.