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Fortune: If we don’t vaccinate the world quickly, our COVID efforts will be a waste

November 12, 2020

GreenLight CEO, Andrey Zarur, writes for Fortune about vaccine rollout for Covid-19.

vaccine rollout
Credit: ALEX EDELMAN—GETTY IMAGES

GreenLight CEO, Andrey Zarur, wrote an opinion piece for Fortune about the need for the Covid-19 vaccine rollout to happen quickly to contain the virus. He said:

“To beat back this pandemic…we need herd immunity...We must inoculate at least 75% of the world’s 7.7 billion people… Achieving this requires a sharp shift from our current ad hoc approach… With the current plans, there is no way that three-quarters of the world will ever be vaccinated—which means none of us will truly be safe.

“If we vaccinate only the most vulnerable, the virus will continue to sweep through large swaths of often asymptomatic young people… With wide asymptomatic spread, there will be more mutations and more risk that the virus will become permanent…. we could inadvertently nurture a new pandemic.

“Global vaccination must be done in a brief time frame to make sure the virus doesn’t significantly mutate and thus evade our grasp. We will all get lifetime immunity not by having a perfect vaccine, but by vaccinating so many of us that the virus has no hosts and fades away.

“To overcome this cold chain challenge, we need vaccines that can be manufactured locally, delivered with minimal refrigeration, and administered with basic health care infrastructure.

“Once we can assure local production, we can figure out creative delivery solutions. We could put small refrigerators in Coca-Cola and other delivery trucks….Getting down that last dusty mile to achieve vaccine-led herd immunity requires rethinking our approach… Unless we do that, quickly, all this pain and effort will be wasted.”


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