COVID-19 vaccine rollout will not achieve herd immunity this year: health experts

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“If you need the vaccination before the trip, that leads us to discrimination.”

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She was backed by Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia Group, who said global testing protocols remain the key to unlocking travel.

Their comments contrasted with the majority of online panel viewers in an instant poll who supported a vaccine requirement.

Contrasting views have highlighted the difficulties in reaching agreement on ways to defeat COVID-19 as the death toll from the virus and its economic fallout increases.

More than 90 million people are believed to have been infected with the novel coronavirus worldwide and around 1.9 million have died from the disease since it emerged in China in December 2019, according to a Reuters tally.

MASS VACCINATION

A growing number of countries are deploying COVID-19 vaccines such as those developed by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech, Moderna and drug maker AstraZeneca alongside the University of Oxford.

Many countries are stranded and many are preparing to launch vaccination campaigns. A number of those who have already started their rollout are trying to buy more vaccines as concerns grow over newer variants of COVID-19.

Highlighting these concerns, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain was in a “race against time” to deploy vaccines, and the European Union is in talks with Moderna to order more vaccines, EU officials say and an internal document.

Dale Fisher, chair of the World Health Organization (WHO) Outbreak Alert and Response Network, has expressed caution about the chances that countries will quickly achieve herd immunity.

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