South America is undoubtedly the most vaccinated country worldwide. Global travel industry leaders should focus on turnaround and success in South America against coronavirus. South America deserves praise. But the emergence of the omicron variant introduces new challenges. Even the region with a long history of “Cultura de vacinacao” is no exception.
During the global fight against COVID-19, South America was the central point of 2020 and early 2021.
Peru experienced a shortage of oxygen supply. In Guayaquil, Ecuador, the shipping containers were full of dead bodies. In Sao Paulo, Brazil, gravediggers dug graves even on nights.
Brazil reached the second position in the number of deaths in the world. And Argentina and Peru reported substantial deaths.
According to The Our World I Data Project, in the second half of 2021, South America will surprisingly become the most vaccinated region of the world with the vaccinated population of 63.3 percent.
Europe has become the second country with a 60.7% inoculated population. While Africa has only an 8.8% fully vaccinated population.
Around the mid of the year, the infection and death rate in Latin America and the Caribbean accounted for almost half of deaths and infections around the globe. Now, the death rate and infections have decreased substantially. Now Europe is under the radar, where the Omicron variant is rebounding. Epidemiologists believe that the omicron variant is resistant to immunity developed by previous coronavirus variants.
Epidemiologists believe there are several factors involved in the successful vaccination drive. According to them, the most important one is the past successful inoculation drives that help improve the infrastructure of the campaigns, making it easier to deliver jabs and building trust among the public.
Paulo Lotufo, a professor and epidemiologist at the University of Sao Paulo, believes that the successful inoculation campaigns against smallpox, meningitis, polio, and measles in the second half of the 20th century improve the reputation of vaccines, and now very few people are against the vaccine.
According to authorities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, over 99 percent of the adult population get at least the first dose. Now Brazilian people proudly call themselves as “Cultura de vacinacao” or “vaccine culture.”
This situation is similar in many countries that have previously experienced heavy deaths. They launch widespread vaccination campaigns to prevent infectious outbreaks.
Leda Guzzi, an expert in Buenos Aires-based infectious disease, said, “the extensive vaccination schedule gives us enough confidence to boost our success.”
The Professor Albert Ko at the Yale School of Public Health and a coordinating researcher at Rio de Janeiro’s Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, believed that public awareness is the most vital.
The health officials of Brazil used a mascot similar to a docile droplet, known as “Zé Gotinha.” This white droplet promotes the vaccine. President Jair Bolsonaro even got a dose.
Also, MC Fioti, a baile funk star, released a video to promote the vaccine. This was the modified version of a viral video in collaboration with the Butantan biomedical institute situated at Sao Paulo.