The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Monday that it is unlikely and unrealistic to expect that the coronavirus pandemic will be over by the end of 2021, but the vaccines can help save lives.
Dr. Michael Ryan, the Executive Director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, said at a press conference,
I think it will be very premature, and I think, unrealistic, to think that we’re going to finish with this virus by the end of the year. But I think what we can if we’re smart, finish with the hospitalizations, the deaths, and the tragedy associated with this pandemic.
Dr. Ryan stated that the WHO has been reassured with the present data which shows that the licensed vaccines are indeed helping reduce the spread of the virus.
He opined that if the vaccines have an impact on the transmission dynamics and the transmission risk of the virus, along with significantly reducing the death rate and hospitalizations, only then would the world be able to control the pandemic.
We still face a huge challenge in rolling out vaccines equitably and fairly to those who most need them around the world. We’re in a much better position than we were. But nothing is guaranteed.
Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, the chief scientist of the WHO, said that for now, the goal is to eliminate the acute phase of the pandemic by the end of this year through COVAX – a program initiated to distribute vaccines around the world.
The World Health Organization Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that for the first time in seven weeks, a surge in coronavirus cases was witnessed across the world last week.
Tedros believe that this surge may be disappointing but it is not surprising because countries are now relying on vaccines and rushing back to normalcy post-lockdowns.
“If countries rely solely on vaccines, they are making a mistake. Basic public health measures remain the foundation of the response,” he warned.