Building a fairer, healthier world

Vaccines are one line of defence – but we need a comprehensive plan

As the UK approaches the milestone of administering over half the population with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s starting to feel like better days are ahead. Promising data is coming out of Israel, which leads the world in vaccination; right now, hospitalisations and deaths have fallen by almost 90%. Certainly, it seems like there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

However, as a nation, there are other obstacles that we’ll face even after the majority of the population is vaccinated. Namely, not everyone can be vaccinated – and some people don’t want to. You may roll your eyes, but the fact is, the UK is a free country and people are entitled to make their own decisions. Equally, there are people who can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons. So how can we protect these people and our future?

Coronavirus wasn’t the first pandemic and it won’t be the last

Before thinking about solutions, we’ll set the scene: the fact is, coronavirus isn’t the first pandemic and it certainly won’t be the last. One fascinating statistic is that the virus commonly known as influenza hasn’t always been with us. In fact, the first case of influenza is thought to have appeared in the 12th century. 

Afterwards, the first significant influenza pandemic was in 1557, with others happening incrementally throughout the centuries thanks to new variants and mutations. Perhaps the most famous is the Spanish flu epidemic, which occurred during the First World War. Shockingly, historians estimate that more people died from the Spanish flu killed than fighting in the trenches.

There have also been other significant pandemics aside from types of coronavirus. Over the years, the WHO have had to launch significant campaigns to battle Ebola and HIV, to name but two examples. As World Health Organization emergencies chief Mike Ryan warned, coronavirus may not necessarily be “the big one”. 

How can we take extra precautions?   

However, respiratory infections are by far the biggest culprits when it comes to pandemics. In the last 500 years, we’ve seen Spanish flu, Hong Kong flu, Asian flu, Russian flu, swine flu, bird flu, and SARS all turn into significant, global problems. So how can we try to prevent history from repeating itself once again? 

As these viruses are usually airborne, a key line of defence is keeping the air we breathe clean. This is why Rejuvenair’s proposal for defending against the coronavirus is air purification. With UVC technology, we can neutralise and eradicate airborne virus particles. With this technology, we can keep the air in workplaces and public spaces clean and safe for everyone – no matter their vaccination status. And after all, isn’t fresh good for every aspect of our health?

Keeping everyone safe, no matter their vaccination status  

As introduced, not everyone can take a vaccine. Some may refuse it for ideological or religious reasons; others, potential medical complications. To give one important example, we still aren’t completely sure if the vaccine is safe for pregnant women. Equally, some immunocompromised people couldn’t take a vaccine even if they wanted to – and they’re some of the most vulnerable. 

Some people will lack access to the vaccine and ultimately, we can’t let this lead to discrimination in the workplace or public life. We need to care for each other in the face of adversity – and clean, safe air is a right we should all have.