RIYADH: More than half of respondents who participated in Arab News Twitter poll believe the virus will not be contained this year.
A majority of 50.3 percent said the world will not see an end to the global pandemic in 2021. While 30.2 percent showed optimism and voted that the virus would be contained by this summer and 16.2 percent said by fall.
There are an estimated 105 million documented cases of COVID-19 worldwide, with 2.3 million confirmed deaths to date.
The new vaccine rollouts, however, have raised hopes of policy makers and industry leaders who told Reuters they were optimistic about seeing 2021 put the pandemic behind it, despite a resurgence in cases.
Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease expert who has headed up the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, believes it would take 75 percent of the world’s population to be inoculated before seeing things return to its pre-pandemic state.
Bloomberg, using a vaccine tracker, have begun analyzing how long states and countries around the world will take to vaccinate 75 percent of their populations. As of Saturday, there have been 124 million vaccinations administered worldwide.
Israel is currently the country with the highest vaccination rate and is expected to hit 75 percent coverage in two months, while the US is expected to get there by new years’ 2022.
Due to vaccinations increasing in richer countries than the rest of the world, Bloomberg calculated that it will take the world seven years to hit the 75 percent inoculation target at its current pace.
Bloomberg’s calculator is designed to put today’s vaccination rates into perspective by using the most recent rolling average of vaccinations. As vaccination numbers increase, the time needed to hit the 75 percent threshold is expected to fall.
In a time of grave uncertainties, however, it still is premature to predict what will happen this year.