Boosters cannot be seen as a ticket to go ahead, says WHO chief Tedros amid Omicron threat

WION Web Team
Geneva Published: Dec 22, 2021, 09:40 PM(IST)

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Photograph:( AFP )

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French health minister Olivier Veran warned that 'no country will be spared' from the Omicron variant while adding that 'Omicron is very contagious'.

As the Omicron variant takes hold worldwide, the World Health Organisation(WHO) said that "no country can boost its way out of the pandemic".

"Boosters cannot be seen as a ticket to go ahead with planned celebrations, without the need for other precautions," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

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The WHO chief's comments come as Israel announced those over 60 and health officials will be given the fourth jab amid rising Omicron threat in the country.

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Several countries in Europe including the United States have pushed ahead with booster doses with virus cases surging worldwide after the Omicron variant was discovered last month.

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Tedros said the UN health body is co-sponsoring the next generation of vaccines through the solidarity trial vaccines.

The WHO chief said the new vaccine was intended to ensure "greater protection against variants of concern with longer duration of protection and to assess vaccines that can be given without needles." Tedros said all countries are invited for the trial even as the research teams in Colombia, Mali and the Philippines have already begun recruiting volunteers.

"We must leave 2021 behind with sorrow, and look forward to 2022 in hope," Tedros said, adding, "2022 must be the end of the pandemic."

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The virus cases continue to surge in Europe as the French government declared that the statistical model showed the country could face over 100,000 COVID-19 daily cases by end December with the Omicron variant accounting for 20 per cent of new cases with capital Paris being the worst-hit.

French health minister Olivier Veran warned that "no country will be spared" from the Omicron variant while adding that "Omicron is very contagious".

(With inputs from Agencies)

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