For months, health experts have warned that low vaccination rates in lower-middle income countries (LMIC) increase the risk of the SARS-CoV-2 virus mutating. The emergence of the new Omicron variant is living evidence of this. Following the declaration of a “National Mission” by Boris Johnson on 12th December 2021, the NHS and other stakeholders delivered the largest and fastest booster programme in history; in just three weeks all UK citizens had been offered a booster, an achievement for us all to take pride in.  

However, as Omicron has demonstrated, the British people and our NHS will never be safe until everyone is safe. Ninety two countries missed a vital World Health Organisation (WHO) target to vaccinate 40% of their populations by the end of 2021. A second WHO target of 70% global vaccination coverage looks like it will also be missed.  

The people in poorer countries remain unvaccinated, not by choice, and suffer in their millions. As well as older people and the clinically vulnerable, children are affected too – every 12 seconds a child somewhere in the world loses a parent or caregiver to COVID. Amidst this unvaccinated suffering, the virus is free to mutate. 

 If we do nothing the pandemic will continue. We will see the rise of a new variant – Omega - and many others to follow. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that prolonging the pandemic will cost the global economy $5.3 trillion, while modelling suggests that failing to meet the WHO 70% vaccination target could result in an extra 5 million deaths worldwide. In years to come, we will have to justify this catastrophic moral and global health security failure to our children and grandchildren.  

 Alternatively, this year we could rewrite history and tell our children a different story. We could tell them that in 2022, as one nation, with one resolution, we did something great. 

We helped #VaccinateTheWorld.  

 To make this happen, all you need to do is: 

  1. SHARE this with people at work, friends, family, several distribution lists... anyone you know!  (this is the bit I’m doing now!)
  2. SIGN this petition asking our UK government to expand its efforts to ensure that COVID-19 tests, treatments, vaccines, and supplies are available for all.. If 100,000 people sign, it is talked about in parliament.  (I’ve signed but a long way to go to get to 10,000…)

 Want to do more?  

WRITE to your MP: Please send the attached letter to your local MP