Vaccines save lives but do not fully prevent virus transmission: WHO chief

WION Web Team
Geneva Published: Nov 29, 2021, 04:28 PM(IST)

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (file photo). Photograph:( AFP )

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World Health Organisation(WHO) chief Tedros said the world needed 'tailored' and 'comprehensive measures' with lockdowns being the 'last resort in the most extreme circumstances'.

Amid panic over the Omicron variant, the World Health Organisation(WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus asserted that although vaccines save lives however it does not fully eliminate transmission of the virus.

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"The lack of sharing of biological samples hindered our collective ability to understand how the virus was evolving," he said, adding,"and it will all happen again unless nations of the world can come together to say with one voice: never again." 

Also Read: Australia halts border reopening after two more Omicron cases detected

The WHO chief said political divisions have deepened and inequalities widened undermining science with misinformation being abundant.

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Tedros focussed the world's attention on Africa amid the detection of the new virus variant informing that at least 103 countries have not reached even 40 per cent of vaccination with most of them being in Africa.

The WHO chief reminded that the vulnerable should be vaccinated first and then boosters should be given to healthy people.

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"The lack of sharing of information and data by many countries in the early days of the pandemic hindered our collective ability to get a clear picture of its profile and trajectory," the WHO chief reiterated. 

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Also Read: Moderna says current vaccines not effective against the Omicron variant

Tedros recalled that millions of people have lost their jobs and plunged into poverty due to the pandemic even as the global economy has been clawing its way out of recession.

Tedros pointed out that 5 million people have died due to the virus, however, "excess deaths caused by the virus and by disruption to essential health services are far higher."

Tedros said the world needed "tailored" and "comprehensive measures" with lockdowns being the "last resort in the most extreme circumstances."

(With inputs from Agencies)

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