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Experts warn global COVID-19 vaccination targets aren't being met as pandemic rages

Newshub logo Newshub 6/01/2021 Dave Goosselink
The biggest vaccination campaign in history is underway around the world but the logistics of vaccinating huge populations are proving challenging. © Video - Newshub ; Image - Getty The biggest vaccination campaign in history is underway around the world but the logistics of vaccinating huge populations are proving challenging.

The biggest vaccination campaign in history is underway around the world.

More than 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered with programmes rolled out in 35 countries.

But the logistics of vaccinating huge populations are proving challenging.

There were grim statistics as England entered its third national lockdown. More than a million people there are now infected with coronavirus - that's one in every 50 people, and in London it's one in 30.

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"The fastest increase is in the east of England, London, and the south-east but it is now taking off in other areas as well," says Professor Chris Whitty, England's chief medical officer.

A vaccine is the only reasonable hope for an end to lockdown. So far 1.3 million people have received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

"And that includes more than 650,000 people over 80, which is 23 percent of all the over-80s in England," says UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The coronavirus also continues to rage in the United States, passing 21 million confirmed cases.

Southern California hospitals are so full that some of the sickest patients can't even get there.

Medics there have been told to ration oxygen supplies and with ambulances stacking up outside hospitals, paramedics were directed that heart attack patients with little chance of survival "shall not be transported".

There was a massive line to get tested at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, a region where one out of every five tests comes back positive.

Some public health experts warn vaccination targets aren't being met, due to a lack of planning.

"And so we've met our goals in terms of vaccine production to this date. But there wasn't a national rollout of a plan that actually puts vaccines in the arms of people," says LA Care Health Plan medical director Dr James Kyle.

A worldwide race is underway to prevent infections and bring cases down while rolling out vaccines to high-risk populations.

"But if we act together we can win both races and get ahead of the virus," says World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Billions of dollars have been poured into vaccine development bringing them to market in record time.

The focus now is on turning that good work into successful vaccinations.

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