As the world moves closer to ending the coronavirus pandemic, the total number of doses of the Covid-19 vaccine distributed across the world has surpassed one billion.
While not enough to rid the world of the virus, which has caused the deaths of over 3 million people and brought the economies of many countries to a standstill, the increasing number of vaccinations brings hope that there will soon be an end to the pandemic.
The effort to vaccinate the world is historic
The first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, given to a 91-year-old grandmother in the UK, was injected on December 2, and now, nearly 150 days later, just over one billion doses have been distributed worldwide.
Although there are large disparities in terms of access to the vaccine, with many poor countries struggling to acquire sufficient doses for their population, 96% of the world’s population live in countries with effective vaccination plans in place.
This makes the current inoculation campaign against the coronavirus one of the greatest combined global health efforts in history.
Covid-19 vaccine first to use mRNA technology
This effort was made possible by countless scientists and researchers who worked tirelessly to produce the vaccine in record time–most vaccines take years, if not decades, to be produced, but the Covid-19 shot was developed in just 10 months.
This short timeline is due to the strides made in mRNA technology, which has been researched since the 1980s.
Rather than providing the body with a weakened or small dose of virus in order to help it build immunity against the illness, like in standard vaccines, mRNA vaccines send synthetic copies of the virus’ RNA to the body, allowing it to build immunity.
Despite the fact that this mRNA technology has been studied for years, the Covid-19 vaccine is the first such shot to use the innovative method.
Many false claims have circulated across the internet argue that mRNA vaccines change people’s DNA, which is impossible. After decades of research, it has been confirmed that this type of shot if very safe and effective.
Vaccinations in Greece Surpass 2 million
Over 2 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in Greece. As of Saturday, when the platform to make appointments for the shot opened to Greeks aged 50-54, all Greeks over the age of 50 are eligible for the vaccine against Covid-19.
Additionally, healthcare workers and those with serious underlying conditions, regardless of age, can schedule an appointment to receive their shots.
Starting next Wednesday, those aged 30-39 will be able to sign up to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine. After this age group, those aged 40-44, and then 45-49, will be next in line to be vaccinated.
Although there was some hesitancy to receive the vaccine initially, data indicates that the number of Greeks over 60 who have chosen to get the shot has increased in recent months.
When the campaign first started, only 47% of those aged 60-64 chose to receive the shot. Now, 55%, over half of them, have been vaccinated.
More Greeks in the range of 65-69 have also decided to become inoculated recently. Initially, half of Greeks in this age group got the Covid-19 vaccine, but now 60% of them have.