‘False sense of security’ round COVID vaccines: WHO

The chief of the World Health Organization has mentioned coronavirus vaccines assist scale back transmission of the dominant Delta variant by 40 % and warned that folks had been falling right into a “false sense of security” after vaccination.

In a information briefing in Geneva on Wednesday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned many vaccinated folks had been wrongly pondering receiving the COVID shot meant they now not wanted to take some other precautions.

“In many countries and communities, we are concerned about a false sense of security that vaccines have ended the pandemic, and that people who are vaccinated do not need to take any other precautions,” Tedros instructed reporters.

“Vaccines save lives, but they do not fully prevent transmission,” he added.

“Data suggest that before the arrival of the Delta variant, vaccines reduced transmission by about 60 percent. With Delta, that has dropped to about 40 percent,” Tedros warned.

Delta is now overwhelmingly dominant world wide, having all however out-competed different strains.

“We cannot say this clearly enough: even if you are vaccinated, continue to take precautions to prevent becoming infected yourself, and infecting someone else who could die.”

“That means sporting a masks, sustaining distance, avoiding crowds and assembly others outdoors in the event you can, or in a well-ventilated house inside.

Crisis in Europe

WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan on Wednesday mentioned that folks in Europe had been “back to pre-pandemic levels of social mixing” regardless of an alarming rise in instances and hospitalisations.

“The reality is the virus will continue to transmit intensely in that environment,” he instructed reporters.

Europe’s return because the pandemic’s epicentre has been blamed on Delta, a sluggish vaccine uptake in some nations, colder climate, and the easing of restrictions.

People sporting face masks stand in a reportedly 700-meter-long queue to get vaccinated within the Philharmonic Hall ‘Elbphilharmonie’ within the northern German metropolis of Hamburg on November 22, 2021 [Morris Mac Matzen/AFP]

“Last week, more than 60 percent of all reported cases and deaths from COVID-19 globally were once again in Europe,” Tedros mentioned.

“The sheer number of cases is translating to unsustainable pressure on health systems and exhausted health workers.”

Europe recorded greater than 2.four million new instances final week, an 11-percent rise on the week earlier than. In Germany, infections had been up 31 %.

WHO epidemiologist Maria van Kerkhove mentioned that it was necessary to take measures throughout the European vacation interval, including that “social measures do not mean lockdowns”.

In the previous weeks, riots have damaged out in a number of European international locations as extra lockdowns and restrictions had been launched in locations like Germany, Netherlands and Belgium.

IP waiver treaty

Tedros voiced hope {that a} consensus could be discovered at World Trade Organization ministerial subsequent week for an IP waiver for pandemic vaccines, already supported by greater than 100 international locations.

The WHO chief mentioned he was inspired a couple of “broad consensus” being reached on a world settlement on stopping future pandemics on the UN’s particular session of the World Health Assembly, calling it a “unique opportunity”.

“The world has treaties to manage other threats; surely countries can agree on the need for a binding pact on the threat of pandemics,” he added.

Moreover, the WHO director-general mentioned that whereas the world continued to answer the coronavirus pandemic, it “cannot lose sight of the many other threats to health that people face around the world, including antimicrobial resistance.”