World is 'foolish' to assume vaccines will save us from Covid variants'

A PAIR of Nobel Prize winning scientists have warned that the world is “foolish” to assume vaccines will save us from Covid mutations, amid the chaos in India.

Dr Abhijit Banerjee and Dr Esther Duflo suggested that leaders and scientists may need to prepare new booster shots, new vaccines, masks and consider slowing down the reopening of society.

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The pandemic has now killed more than 3.2 million people with variants emerging in some of the worst affected countries.

The includes India who have suffered a Covid explosion with a devastating 230,000 deaths and fatalities soaring by the day amid an oxygen shortage and sluggish vaccine roll out.

Now, two Nobel Prize winning scientist have claimed that, despite the rollout of the “better vaccines,” in the West, it would be “foolish" to assume that they will necessary save us.”

In their opinion piece in the New York Times, they wrote: “The government (US) is now beginning to stir, but it still appears reluctant to embrace a national strategy.

“We should anticipate the possibility that the virus will spread through Africa, where a vaccination campaign that had barely started is now endangered by the situation in India.

The pair suggested that this would bring disaster in countries where oxygen supplies and hospital beds are extremely limited and urged the likes of The United States and Europe to “get ready and act quickly when necessary.”

They concluded: “Getting ready now might give us a fighting chance to avoid a repeat of India’s nightmare.”

Their comments come as an Indian politician claimed that the country’s second wave is a threat to the world.

Rahul Gandhi issued the dire warning as he called on Prime Minister Modi to begin a second national lockdown as cases and deaths continue to soar to record levels. 

Mr Gandhi said India's huge and diverse population provides “fertile ground” for the virus to mutate into more infectious and deadly forms, causing devastation not just within its borders but across the globe.

The nation of 1.3 billion has already produced one highly infectious Covid mutant, but soaring rates mean the virus has plenty of chances to mutate again and become more dangerous.

Today, the country logged a record 414,188 new cases, bringing its total to 21,491,598.

On Thursday, researchers at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation warned that the true toll is likely 700,000 and could top 1 million by the end of the month.

It has led for calls to medical experts, political opponents and some Supreme Court justices calling on Mr Modhi to enforce nationwide measures, which appear to be the only solution. 

The Sun previously reported that the chaotic scenes seen in India as well as the likes of Brazil, has mean "no one is safe" unless vaccine rollouts are widened.

COVID mutant variants spawning from out of control outbreaks like in India and Brazil mean "no one is safe" unless vaccine rollouts are widened, it has been warned.

The People's Vaccine Alliance (PVA) – a global coalition of 50 organizations – told The Sun Online about the critical danger the new strains pose if more support isn't given to help vaccinate people worldwide.

It warned under current estimations many developing countries will not hit the necessary levels of vaccination to end the pandemic until 2024.

With a connected world, any new outbreaks or variants could spread to countries which have already vaccinated – and the new mutations may be able to dodge the antibodies given by the jabs.

"This failure puts us all at risk," Anna Marriott, health policy manager at Oxfam, told The Sun Online.

The warning comes as Britain continues to open up from lockdown restrictions thanks to it's successful rollout of the vaccine.

Today an announcement of the Green list is expected as Europe and the US plan to open up to tourism again, despite the devastating scenes happening further afield.

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