COVID-19 Vaccines, Variants, and the Long Road Ahead : WFCF’s Quest to Support Developing Regions Through the Pandemic

By Lindsay Wertman, WFCF Blog Editor on Aug 12, 2021
COVID-19 Vaccines, Variants, and the Long Road Ahead

Once a virus has been widely circulating in a population and causing infections, the likelihood of that virus mutating greatly increases. Sadly, over the course of the last several months, the coronavirus disease has done just that, mutated. Currently, several variants of the virus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19 are creating concern in countries all over the world. These variants include: Delta (B.1.617.2), Alpha (B.1.1.7), Gamma (P.1), and Beta (B.1.351). While research suggests that COVID-19 vaccines are slightly less effective against the variants, the vaccines still appear to provide protection against severe COVID-19, thus decreasing the mortality rates from COVID-19.

Early research (see below) has shown the following regarding vaccine effectiveness against these variants (Source: Mayo Clinic):

  • Early research from the U.K. suggests that, after full vaccination, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is 88% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 virus caused by the delta variant. The vaccine is 96% effective at preventing severe disease with the COVID-19 virus caused by the delta variant. The research also showed that the vaccine is 93% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 virus caused by the alpha variant.
  • Early research from Canada suggests that, after one dose, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is 72% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 virus caused by the delta variant. One dose of the vaccine is also 96% effective at preventing severe disease with the COVID-19 virus caused by the delta variant.
  • The Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is 85% effective at preventing severe disease with the COVID-19 virus caused by the delta variant, according to data released by Johnson & Johnson.

The World Forgotten Children Foundation’s (WFCF) quest to raise funds for vaccine distribution specifically across developing countries actively began more than six months ago. At the time when the campaign launched, over one hundred million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered worldwide, but with a global population of more than 7.8 billion, we had a long way to go. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated three-quarters of all COVID-19 vaccinations were present in only 10 countries. (Source: Premium Times)

As of August 2021, according to the Bloomberg COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker, more than 4.31 billion doses have been administered across 180 countries. The latest rate was roughly 42.5 million doses a day. Based on these numbers, that is enough to fully vaccinate roughly 28.1% of the global population. COVID-19 vaccine equity is very much a concern as wealthier nations are still snapping up the majority of doses of the leading vaccines before many distribution plans have the opportunity to move forward for developing regions, especially as availability still remains low. According to the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, so far, only 0.3% of the vaccines that have been administered have gone to low-income countries. (Source: Forbes). Therefore, it is vital that organizations are working collaboratively together to ensure that proper resources are being allocated toward equitable global distribution. To learn more about what the World Forgotten Children Foundation (WFCF) is doing to support vaccine distribution, please visit WFCF’s Current Funding Campaigns page.

Sources:

Bloomberg. (5 August 2021). More Than 4.31 Billion Shots Given: Covid-19 Tracker. Retrieved August 6, 2021, from https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/covid-vaccine-tracker-global-distribution/

Forbes. (11 May 2021). Covid Vaccine Equity - Developing Countries Need Our Help. Retrieved August 6, 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2021/05/11/vaccine-equitydeveloping-countries-need-our-help/?sh=1ce9feb23ec8

Mayo Clinic. COVID-19 variants: What's the concern?. Retrieved August 6, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/expert-answers/covid-variant/faq-20505779

Premium Times. (6 February 2021). 2.5bn people in 130 countries without COVID-19 vaccines- WHO. Retrieved August 6, 2021, from https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/440914-2-5bn-people-in-130-countries-without-covid-19-vaccines-who.html

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