Good news about the vaccines but some way to go

BARBASTRO, SPAIN - DECEMBER 27: Maria Carmen Cortés, 45, a nurse at the Somontano residence and several health workers celebrate moments after receiving one of the first Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines in Spain on December 27, 2020 in Barbastro, Spain. Spain will begin to administer the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech on December 27. With 1.84 million cases recorded since the start of the pandemic, Spain has reported almost 50,000 covid-19 deaths. (Photo by Alvaro Calvo/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***

Our readers have their say on Covid-19, staying vigilant, and a toast to a better year

With reference to Brodie Owen's report Oxford University-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine approved for use in Britain (Dec 30): So many countries – including the US, UK, other European nations have already started vaccinations. China and Russia have also developed their own vaccines, and commenced vaccinations. Closer home, the UAE is leading in the Middle East and has also already started vaccinations. These are all developments to be lauded.

We have to lift the global economy out of the hole it has fallen into this year. We need to recuperate and regain public confidence. The revitalisation of world economies in 2021 depends on the success of such vaccines being administered. In every country, people from the lowest income groups must have easy access to them. Two or three vaccines developed may be inadequate. We need many more to be readily available within a kilometre of everyone’s home, shop, farm or office. Ideally, they should be free. The vaccines should be as easily available as a packet of salt. Only then will Covid-19 be vanquished.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

Even in the new year, we need to all stay vigilant

With regard to the article Coronavirus: UAE reports 'limited number' of Covid-19 variant cases (Dec 29): Over New Year's Eve and in the coming weeks, it is best if people stick to their own households. There are plenty of actvities people can do things without going near others and risking spreading the virus. Maybe go camping, go for walks. Keep your distance. If you have children, don't let them run around shops touching things. We have to be all the more careful as this new mutation is more infectious. The prerogative is on all of us to be safe and not spread this virus.

Josie Jackson, Abu Dhabi

2021: To better days and good health

This has not been a good year. Till February it was going relatively smoothly but March onwards, when WHO officially declared the coronavirus a pandemic, lockdowns began to effect how we lived our lives. Everything changed overnight and the virus put the brakes on countless plans. Who knew at the start of this year that we would read bleak statistics of death everyday?

Covid-19 also slowed down business, obstructed development and people across the world lost their livelihoods. In the global scenario, the US was most affected. This in itself was shocking to many.

I hope the new year will be better for all of us, for all countries, particularly those grappling hard with the virus – the US, the UK, Brazil and India. I wish especially the people who are dealing with unseen difficulties, a healthy, happy and peaceful new year.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru, India