‘False sense of security’ about COVID vaccines: WHO | News about Coronavirus pandemic

The head of the World Health Organization has said coronavirus vaccines help reduce the transmission of the dominant Delta variant by 40 percent, warning that people fell into a “false sense of security” after vaccination.

In a news briefing in Geneva on Wednesday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that many vaccinated people mistakenly believed that receiving the COVID shot meant they no longer needed to take other precautions.

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

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

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

Delta is now overwhelmingly dominant around the world and has almost outcompeted other tribes.

“We can not say this clearly enough: Even if you have been vaccinated, you must continue to take precautions to prevent yourself from becoming infected and infecting someone else who may die.”

“It means wearing a mask, keeping your distance, avoiding crowds and meeting others outside if you can, or in a well-ventilated room inside.

Crisis in Europe

WHO emergency director Michael Ryan said on Wednesday that people in Europe were “back to pre-pandemic levels of social mixing” despite an alarming increase in cases and hospitalizations.

“The realities are that the virus will continue to transmit intensely in that environment,” he told reporters.

Europe’s return as the epicenter of the pandemic has been blamed on the Delta, slow vaccine uptake in some nations, colder weather and easing restrictions.

People wearing face masks stand in an alleged 700-meter-long queue to be vaccinated at the Philharmonic Hall ‘Elbphilharmonie’ in the northern German city 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 back in Europe,” Tedros said.

“The large number of cases translates into unsustainable pressure on health systems and exhausted health workers.”

Europe recorded more than 2.4 million new cases last week, an increase of 11 percent over the week before. In Germany, infections increased by 31 percent.

WHO epidemiologist Maria van Kerkhove said it was important to take action during the European holiday season, adding that “social measures do not mean shutdowns”.

In recent weeks, riots have broken out in several European countries as more lockdowns and restrictions were introduced in places like Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.

IP dropout treaty

Tedros expressed hope that a consensus can be found at next week’s World Trade Organization ministerial meeting on an IP exemption for pandemic vaccines, which are already supported by more than 100 countries.

The WHO chief said he was encouraged that a “broad consensus” had been reached on an international agreement on the prevention of future pandemics at the UN Special Assembly in the World Health Assembly, calling it a “unique opportunity”.

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

In addition, the WHO Director-General said that although the world continued to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, “it cannot lose sight of the many other health threats facing humans around the world, including antimicrobial resistance.”


Leave a Comment