No Covid variant has emerged that undermines vaccine efficacy so far, but…: WHO chief’s word of caution

Amid rising considerations over virulent strains of SARS-CoV-2, the World Health Organisation has mentioned no Covid-19 variants have emerged that undermine the efficacy of vaccines. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, nonetheless, added that there is no such thing as a assure this would be the case sooner or later.

“No variants have emerged that significantly undermine the efficacy of vaccines, diagnostics or therapeutics. But there is no guarantee that will remain the case. The virus is constantly changing,” mentioned WHO chief Tedros in his opening remarks on the 74th World Health Assembly on Thursday.

‘Vaccinate 10% population by September’

The WHO Director-General mentioned these concerns shouldn’t discourage folks from getting inoculated and known as for a dramatic scale-up of vaccination in all international locations.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged member states to assist a “sprint to September” to vaccinate no less than 10 per cent of the inhabitants of each nation by September, and a “drive to December” to attain the purpose of vaccinating no less than 30 per cent by the tip of the yr.

Also See: Two Covid shots effective against B.1.617.2 variant: UK

On vaccine distribution

Taking a shot on the skewed vaccine distribution amongst developed and creating nations, the WHO chief termed it a “scandalous inequity that is perpetuating the pandemic” and mentioned all well being employees and folks at excessive threat of contracting Covid-19 would have acquired the jab had the quantity of doses administered globally had been equitable.

Highlighting that there aren’t sufficient vaccines, the top of the WHO known as on well-off member states to halt inoculating youngsters and donate doses to those that actually need them.

“A small group of countries that make and buy the majority of the world’s vaccines control the fate of the rest of the world. Countries that vaccinate children and other low-risk groups now do so at the expense of health workers and high-risk groups in other countries. That’s the reality,” he added.

On Covax the joint effort by the WHO and others to create a global vaccine-sharing programme Tedros said the number of doses made available to it remains inadequate.

“To date, Covax has shipped 70 million doses to 124 countries and economies. But that is sufficient for less than 0.5 per cent of the combined population of those countries,” the WHO chief mentioned.

Also See: Covid-19: Doctors snub Ramdev over Coronil claim

WHO urges countries with large stocks to share

The WHO chief also urged countries with large stocks of vaccines to share them and appealed for greater cooperation to scale up production and distribution of the vaccine shots.

He also touched upon the proposed Framework Convention on Pandemic Preparedness and Response, which seeks to support international solidarity and sharing data, information and resources.

There is a pressing need for every country to increase surveillance, testing, sequencing, and sharing information. This will not only help implement national vaccination strategies but also empower people and communities and support businesses and workplaces.

“We cannot build a safer world from the top down; we must build from the ground up. Preparing for, preventing, detecting and responding rapidly to epidemics doesn’t start in the world’s corridors of power. It starts in the streets of deprivation and overcrowding where people live without enough food, access to health workers, clean water and electricity,” concluded Tedros.

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