A third of the world is still not vaccinated

Today marks World Health Day, a day promoted by the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and the right to have access to quality public health services.

However, the reality is very different. Poverty and inequality in the most deprived regions mean that millions of people do not receive the health care they need. This inequality has increased with the covid pandemic, which has left the populations of these countries behind in areas such as vaccination.

Thus, a third of the world’s population has not yet received any dose of the covid vaccine, according to United Nations data. In this context, Africa is the most affected region: 83% of the population has not been vaccinated.

The map shows in light tones the countries and regions where the doses administered are the lowest.

Our world in data

To date, covid has killed more than 6.1 million people and infected more than 490 million worldwide, according to the most recent data. In this sense, the WHO is preparing a new plan to react to the possible scenarios of the pandemic.

The most likely scenario is that the virus continues to evolve and new variants of the virus emerge, but these will be less dangerous, so the disease will become less severe and cause milder, more treatable symptoms. At the same time, population immunity will increase through vaccination and reinfection.

However, in the worst case, a new, more virulent and contagious variant could appear and be more difficult to combat. Faced with this situation, it would be necessary to develop new and more effective vaccines and to ensure that they also reach the most vulnerable populations.

Getting vaccinated against covid is a priority not only in developing countries, but also among the wealthiest countries. For weeks, China has been struggling to fight a new wave of omicron cases in different cities of the country, which forced the confinement of millions of people.

“Our planet, our health”

This year, World Health Day is celebrated under the slogan “Our planet, our health”, emphasizing the direct relationship between our health and that of the planet: the pollution of the Earth has direct effects on the air we we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat.

The WHO announced this week that 99% of the population breathe polluted air, according to the Last update from the Global Air Quality Database. The concentration of polluting microparticles exceeds the recommended limits: these particles can enter our lungs and cause respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and affect certain internal organs.

Here again, the population of low-income countries is the most affected by this type of pollution. Poor countries do not have the means to make an energy transition and to adopt the technologies necessary for the commissioning of renewable energies.

As a result, these countries continue to use fossil fuels such as coal or oil, which in addition to polluting the environment and increasing greenhouse gas emissions, also have adverse health effects.

To protect our health and that of the planet, the WHO calls on governments to give up fossil fuels and commit to using clean energy because, in the long term, this decision can save many lives. They can also promote the consumption of healthy and locally produced foods, while taxing processed foods and products such as alcohol or tobacco.

Citizens can also improve our health while helping the planet with small changes in habits such as walking or cycling to school or work, favoring public transport whenever possible, consuming less plastic packaging or make responsible energy consumption (water, electricity, heating or air conditioning).

Health advances through science

Medical science and research continue to advance by leaps and bounds to offer new therapies and drugs to prevent disease. One example is the covid vaccines, which were developed in record time to stop the pandemic.

Over the past year, researchers have developed a landmark vaccine against malaria, a disease transmitted by insect bites that causes more than 400,000 deaths each year worldwide.

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Over the past year, researchers have developed a landmark vaccine against malaria, a disease transmitted by insect bites that causes more than 400,000 deaths each year worldwide.

Neuroscience, which studies the nervous system and the functioning of the brain, has managed to create a system of smart implants that stimulate the muscles of the body of paraplegic patients so that they can walk again.

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After receiving electrode implantation, patients with spinal cord injuries must undergo a long course of physiotherapy and rehabilitation

Beyond the discoveries, the objective is also to make these medical advances accessible to all, particularly in countries and regions with fewer resources.

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