RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A beach vacation sounds nice after a year in quarantine.
However, those long anticipated post-vaccination plans could be in jeopardy.
A slow vaccine rollout in low and middle-income countries could mean it’s still safer at home even with your COVID-19 vaccine.
“If the current rate of vaccination at low or middle income countries continues, those countries are probably not going to reach herd immunity for another 7 years,” said Dr. Gavin Yamey, professor of the practice of global health and public policy at the Duke Global Health Institute.
Currently, 6 percent of the U.S. is fully vaccinated.
Globally, 0.6 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.
Anyone looking forward to a Mexican beach vacation may want to consider their plans carefully. Only point 0.4 percent of the population there is fully vaccinated.
Below is a map of the share of population fully vaccinated in some of the world’s most popular vacation destinations.
Click here to see a full listing of countries and their vaccine rollout progress.
“We need to start thinking of ourselves as an interconnected global community,” said Yamey.
The World Health Organization has reported out of the more than 128 million vaccine doses administered across the globe, more than three quarters were administered in 10 countries that account for 60 percent of the world’s GDP.
Nearly 130 countries have not vaccinated any of their citizens. In fact, an article published in the BMJ journal in December said rich countries with only 14 percent of the world’s population have bought more than half of the eight most promising vaccines.
It said that included all of the Moderna vaccine doses expected to be produced over the next year.
Achieving equal access
Yamey is involved in the COVAX program. It’s a global effort encouraging rich countries to donate vaccine to low or middle-income countries. This week, Ghana became the first nation to get vaccines this way.
“An outbreak anywhere, could lead to an outbreak everywhere and that’s why it’s in our interest collectively, as an international community, to start sharing doses,” said Yamey.
Scientists still don’t know for sure if vaccines stop viral transmission. So even if you are vaccinated could potentially pick up COVID-19 somewhere else and spread it to vulnerable people around you when you get back home.
“Your economic health is my economic health. Your public health is my public health,” said Yamey.
The inequities could shift come summer with new vaccines introduced, making it potentially safer to travel abroad. As with many aspects of this pandemic, it will be a waiting game the public.
“Things are changing in a very positive ways. Not fast enough for my liking,” Yamey said.