Faced with the rebound in infections in Europe, the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has recalled that vaccines “save lives”, but “do not totally prevent the spread of Covid-19”, For this reason, he has asked that the virus containment measures be maintained as a complement to the vaccine.
“In many countries and communities we are concerned about the false sense of security that vaccines have ended the Covid-19 pandemic., and that vaccinated people do not need to take any other precautions, “he says, to remember that it is still necessary to use the mask, keep your distance, avoid crowds and meet outdoors or in a well-ventilated indoor space.
As it is, he recalled that, during the past week, more than 60% of all reported Covid-19 cases and deaths globally were once again in Europto. “The large number of cases is translating into unsustainable pressure on health systems and exhausted toilets,” Tedros warned.
For all this, the WHO director general has specified that the data suggest that, before the arrival of the Delta variant, vaccines reduced transmission by about 60%. “With Delta, that has dropped to about 40%,” he warned. “If you are vaccinated, you have a much lower risk of suffering from the serious illness Covid-19 and of dying, but you are still at risk of infecting yourself, and of infecting others ”, he had an impact.
In this sense, Tedros has asked all governments to apply “A comprehensive and adapted approach to social and public health measures to prevent the transmission of Covid-19, relieve pressure on health systems and save lives ”. Although Europe “is once again the epicenter of the pandemic” of Covid-19, “no country or region is out of danger,” says the director general of the United Nations health agency.
On the other hand, Tedros has recalled that, In Africa, many countries are not on track to meet the 40% vaccination target by the end of the year. “Many people who should have been vaccinated in low-income countries are not doing so and are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill or dying,” he warned.
As you have recalled, through COVAX, Manufacturers and governments can easily prioritize the sharing of doses with those countries that have run out of supplies, so that they can protect their most vulnerable. “It is not just about who we reach with the vaccination, but who is escaping us,” said Tedros. For this reason, he has asked to give priority to health workers, the elderly and vulnerable groups, “everywhere.”
However, beyond vaccines, he has also asked that tall countries have access to rapid tests and new treatment options, so that the spread can be stopped and those who need help treated.
“Through the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), manufacturers can also easily pool technology and technical know-how, which would drive the overall supply which, again, is the main barrier to access, ”says Tedros.
In this sense, he recalled that C-TAP and the public health organization Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) have entered into a licensing agreement with the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) in Spain to facilitate its Covid-19 antibody tests reach countries in need.
Vaccination of children and adolescents
Asked about vaccination in children and adolescents, the WHO chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, recalled that, Although children become infected, the risk of developing a severe form of the disease is low. “In those under 25 years of age, less than 0.5 percent have a probability of death from Covid-19, and in the group of those under 5 years of age, this percentage decreases to 0.1 percent,” said the expert. .
Therefore, he has asked prioritize the entire pattern in other populations, and it has pointed out the importance of prioritizing adolescents with other pathologies, “as is the case of adolescents with obesity, which increases the risk of serious disease.”
Finally, for the expert, Whether children get vaccinated or not depends on the other priority groups. “If the objective is to reduce transmission to the lowest possible levels, in that case it is possible to think about vaccinating children as well,” he concluded, adding that, however, “we have to wait for there to be data on vaccination in children to facilitate recommendations in this regard ”.