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How global vaccinations for COVID-19 affects the U.S.

Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 3:42 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - There are concerns about coronavirus variants that are spreading across the globe and at the same time, there are countries that are feeling left out of the vaccine distributions.

Medical officials in the Omaha-metro say it’s vital to vaccinate countries around the globe if we plan to get a handle on this pandemic here at home.

There are other countries around the world that say it’s not fair that a lot of the COVID-19 vaccines find their way to the countries with the most money.

“Is it true that the wealthier countries have much better access to this vaccine? Absolutely,” said Dr. David Brett-Major, Infectious Disease Specialist at Nebraska Medical Center.

Dr. David Brett-Major is an Infectious Disease Specialist with the Nebraska Medical Center and he tells 6 News that a failure to vaccinate those in poorer countries will affect us directly.

“When you have a lot of virus transmission, you create the opportunity for variants, you create the opportunity for the vaccine to not be enough. For instance, in South Africa were with some of the variants that are out there, we only get half the effect we want in the vaccine,” said Dr. Brett-Major.

Officials with the CDC say now is not the time to relax restrictions. The number of variants to the virus are on the rise in our country and there have been variants reported in the Omaha-metro.

“At this level of cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard earned ground we’ve gained. These variants are a very real threat to our people and our progress,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC Director.

Medical experts tell us even if vaccinated, more prosperous countries are at risk of new COVID-19 outbreaks if the virus isn’t controlled worldwide.

“There will be other coronaviruses, this coronavirus is not going to go away in the summer. We are going to experience more SARS-CoV-2 in the coming seasons and it will matter less to us if we do the usual things and we vaccinate not only here but abroad,” said Dr. Brett-Major.

Officials say we could continue to wear masks and keep up all of the other COVID fighting guidelines and restrictions.

The president is pledging up to $4 billion to help get the vaccine to some of the poorer nations around the world.

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