Could 21, 2021 — The COVID-19 vaccines licensed to be used in the US and Europe provide safety in opposition to the 4 important coronavirus variants recognized to exist, a World Well being Group official says.
“All COVID-19 virus variants which have emerged to this point do reply to the obtainable permitted vaccines,” WHO European Regional Director Hans Kluge stated Thursday at a information convention.
Kluge stated the B.1.617 variant now killing hundreds of individuals every day in India, the place it was first detected, is of particular concern.
That variant has unfold to all six WHO areas and has been detected in 26 of the 53 nations within the WHO European area. Most instances are linked to worldwide journey, he stated.
“It is ready to unfold quickly and displace the B.1.1.7 variant that has change into the dominant lineage in Europe,” he stated.
Kluge emphasised that whereas many individuals haven’t been vaccinated but, all variants may be managed with public well being and security measures, resembling masks and social distancing.
“In the interim, we are able to say that each one the 4 variants do reply to the vaccines made obtainable, as of as we speak,” he stated. “However the easiest way to counteract [spread] is to hurry up the vaccination roll-out.”
The opposite variants are those first detected in Brazil (P.1) and South Africa (B.1.351).
Luge stated the vaccination program is bringing down COVID numbers within the WHO European area, with case counts lowering 60% in a month. However he warned in opposition to letting our guard down.
“This progress is fragile. We’ve got been right here earlier than. Allow us to not make the identical errors that have been made this time final 12 months that resulted in a resurgence of COVID-19,” he stated.
Luge stated nations ought to “get rid of or rethink” worldwide journey. However the European Union and the UK have lately relaxed steering for worldwide journey.
“Vaccines often is the mild on the finish of the tunnel, however we should not be blinded by that mild,” he stated.