4,548,743 have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, while 1,482,062 have received their second in the south east according to latest NHS figures (22nd April 2021).

World Immunisation Week (23-30 April) is a perfect time to reflect on the importance of vaccinations not just in Hampshire and the South East but all over the world.

I’m one of the 33 million people in the UK – that's about half the population - to have been vaccinated, thanks to our amazing NHS.

I’m also painfully aware that in contrast, more than 60% of the world’s population won’t access a COVID-19 vaccine until 2022 or later.

This is a problem that affects us all: no one is safe until we are all safe.

Addressing global vaccine inequity isn’t just the right thing to do – it will help protect all of us against new strains of the virus.

UNICEF is working with the COVAX facility to deliver two billion COVID-19 vaccines this year – but they can’t do it alone.

That’s why the UK committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) is asking the UK government to share at least 5% of its surplus daily doses doing so will still remain on target for all adults receiving at least one vaccine by the end of July.

This could also protect all of us against new strains of the virus.

Meanwhile, readers can help to Give the World a Shot by supporting UNICEF’s NHS- backed campaign at VaccinAid.org this will enable UNICEF to deliver vaccines, treatments and test kits.

Only by helping other communities around the world become protected from the virus like households in Hampshire and the South East, can we truly overcome the pandemic – together.

Dr Chris van Tulleken

Infectious Disease Doctor