WORLD – World Health Organization (WHO) official says that COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States and Europe provide protection against all known coronavirus variants.
WHO European Regional Director Hans Kluge said at a press conference on Thursday, “All COVID-19 virus variants that have emerged so far do respond to the available approved vaccines”. Kluge further added that the B1.617 version is now killing thousands of people daily in India, where it was first found, which is of particular concern.
This variant has spread to all six WHO regions and has been detected in 26 of the 53 countries in the WHO European region. He said, most of the cases are related to international travel. He further added in his statement, “It is able to spread rapidly and displace the B.1.1.7 variant that has become the dominant lineage in Europe”.
Kluge emphasized that while many people have not yet been vaccinated, all types can be controlled with public health and safety measures such as masks and social distance. Other variants have previously been found in Brazil (P.1) and South Africa (B.1.351).
Kluge said the vaccination program is reducing COVID numbers in the European region, reducing the number of cases by 60% in a month. But he warned against degrading our guard. He said, “This progress is fragile. We have been here before. Let us not make the same mistakes that were made this time last year that resulted in a resurgence of COVID-19”.
Kluge said that nations should “eliminate or reconsider” international travel. But the European Union and the United Kingdom have recently relaxed guidance for international travel. He further added, “Vaccines may be the light at the end of the tunnel, but we must not be blinded by that light”.