WHO calls for developing new vaccines to curb Covid

Stating that in the last five weeks Covid-19 deaths are increasing, World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday called for developing new vaccines to curb the infection.

In opening remarks at the Covid-19 media briefing, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “Although the Covid-19 pandemic is far from over, we are now in a very different situation to where we were a year ago, and we have learned a number of important lessons.”

“One of the most important is that the most effective way to save lives, protect health systems and reopen societies and economies is to vaccinate the right groups first,” he said.

He stated that even in some countries that have reached 70% vaccination coverage, if significant numbers of health workers, older people and other at-risk groups remain unvaccinated, deaths will continue, health systems will remain under pressure and the global recovery will be at risk.

“This is not theoretical, this is real.”

“Covid-19 deaths have been increasing for the last five weeks, and several countries are reporting increasing trends in hospitalizations following waves of transmission driven by Omicron subvariants,” WHO chief said.

The WHO chief also urged all countries to strive for the target of 70% vaccination coverage.

“While vaccines have saved countless lives, they have not substantially reduced transmission. So it’s vital for governments and the private sector to continue collaborating and investing in the development of new vaccines that prevent both infection and disease,” he said, adding that “We also need vaccines that can be delivered more easily, such as through nasal sprays or drops.”

WHO chief urged all countries to assess and strengthen their readiness and response plans for future waves of transmission, including surveillance, testing, strong clinical management and a well-equipped health workforce.

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