If two years ago we knew little about how to protect people from COVID-19, there is no question we are now better equipped to manage the pandemic. For Diaverum, there’s no doubt that vaccination is the world’s best response against the virus, which means that resuming normality is now a matter of collective choice, commitment and above all, solidarity.
Our response to the pandemic has been based on science, education and our True care culture. Our global COVID-19 contingency plans, paired with an ambitious vaccination campaign, have promoted the health and safety of our patients & staff, by minimising the impact of the disease, as well as delivering operational continuity.
Our efforts to educate, and to support the vaccination of our patients and staff have paid off, leading to an industry-wide benchmark – to date, we have recorded an impressive 86% of patients and 94% of staff receiving their first dose, with 52% of patients having already had their booster shot – well ahead of current rates for the general population.
But the fight against COVID-19 persists across the world and we cannot yet rest.
New cases worldwide are above 600,000 per day and daily deaths still above 7,500. The health toll paid by societies around the world has been high, even more so among vulnerable populations such as chronic kidney disease patients. This means the pandemic pressure on health systems marches on, with routine healthcare negatively impacted and health indicators worsening in some countries. It doesn’t need to be that way.
The world’s best scientists have studied the virus extensively and developed safe & effective vaccines, consistently advising that this how we can turn tables on the pandemic.
Still, COVID-19 vaccination rates vary considerably across the globe and are below what is needed to protect humanity. 54.8% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine – but while some European countries have vaccinated 70% or more of their population with one dose and have started booster campaigns, only 6.2% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.
The results of vaccine inequality are well known. Where vaccination coverage is low, the virus has spread quickly, mutating at escalating rates and putting the effectiveness of vaccines in question. The Omicron variant is the latest threat in this space. Although there are still several uncertainties around it in terms of transmissibility and severity, prevention measures remain the same, with vaccination and boosters offering tangible proof of protection.
The world must do better in ensuring vaccination equity and controlling the pandemic– by making the right choices, committing to prevention & showing solidarity for one another.
Like climate change, global challenges require global responses, making the pandemic everyone’s business. It is not enough if only a few of us take action and shift to a greener way of life – it affects us all and no country on Earth is immune to it. Similarly, the return to a post-COVID-19 normality depends on each and every one of us.
We now have the necessary information to make the right choices and take the vaccine when available to us – be it the first, second or the booster, because every dose counts. There are promising new drugs to treat COVID-19 on the horizon, but they do not substitute the need for vaccination.
We know that vaccination decreases hospitalisation and the severity of infection, but does not completely prevent the virus’ transmission. Therefore, we need to revitalise our commitment to prevention by first and foremost practicing social distancing & wearing masks in public spaces; washing our hands often; testing as frequently as possible and isolate when getting a positive result; and complying with everything else local health authorities advise.
Lastly, it is also about solidarity towards one another.
One person can infect multiple people in a very short window of time. Taking the vaccine or wearing a mask is not solely about you; it’s also about protecting those around you.
Guided by our True care culture, Diaverum’s unwavering commitment to delivering life-enhancing renal care no matter the ongoing pandemic, and our ambition to have all patients and staff vaccinated, remain unchanged.
As we approach 2022, we’d like to thank all Diaverum patients and staff for coming together in one of the most devastating health crises of modern history. By increasing vaccination rates and by renewing our commitment to showing solidarity to one another, we can go a long way and make a difference not only across our network of clinics, but in communities around the world.
Dimitris Moulavasilis Fernando Macário
Chief Executive Officer Chief Medical Officer