While waiting for a vaccine, WHO advises not to relax health measures

Illustration of barrier gestures to prevent the spread of Covid-19. – GILE Michel

The World Health Organization is trying to curb the optimist that is emerging a little too quickly in the wake of the Covid-19 vaccine announcements. There is a great risk that behavior will relax too early. The vaccines will not arrive in time to fight the second wave of the pandemic and many countries “will continue to face it without vaccines,” the WHO emergency manager warned on Wednesday.

“I think it will be at least four to six months before there are sufficient levels of immunization anywhere,” Michael Ryan said in a question and answer session on social media, noting that vaccines should not be seen as a “magic potion”. “We are not there yet with regard to vaccines,” despite recent announcements of promising vaccines that are 90% or more effective, he said.

No “carelessness”

“Many countries are facing this wave, and they will cross it and continue to face it without vaccines,” he added. “We have to understand and internalize this, and realize that this time we have to climb this mountain without vaccines.” The Director General of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, for his part welcomed the new developments on the vaccine front but also warned against any “letting go”.

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