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WHO’s director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

WHO warns against ‘false sense of security’ in vaccine

The World Health Organisation (WHO) chief has said the Body is concerned about false sense of security in vaccine and warned vaccinated people to remain vigilant when it comes to catching Covid-19. ‘This is because evidence is growing that vaccine-induced protection against infection and mild disease is declining.’

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WHO’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said Wednesday at a press conference that this worry stems from stark new projections for Europe’s winter Covid-19 deaths revealed and increasing cases in heavily vaccinated countries.

The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 213,677 confirmed cases. On the 23rd of November 2021, 52 new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 were recorded in Nigeria.

 WHO Chief said “In many countries and communities, we are concerned about the false sense of security that vaccines have ended the pandemic and that people who are vaccinated do not need to take any other precautions.”

According to him, “no country or region is out of the woods” and underlined the importance of making sure that the “right measures are in place to avert the worst consequences of any future waves.” He also called for proper sharing of the “fruits of science.”

Earlier in the week,  WHO frankly predicted that more than 2 million people might die of Covid-19 in Europe alone over the coming winter and that most of the countries could see their health systems overwhelmed by the surge.

Vaccine-induced protection declining

WHO said evidence is growing that vaccine-induced protection against infection and mild disease is declining.

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It is in this context that a booster dose should be given to protect the most vulnerable, including the immunocompromised, as a priority. Based on the national context of vaccine dose availability and COVID-19 epidemiology, countries should also consider giving a booster dose to those aged over 60 and health-care workers, as a precautionary measure. Specific guidance will be released by the European Technical Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization later this week.

Factors driving increasing COVID-19 transmission

According to WHO, the main factors driving the current high transmission of COVID-19 are:

  1. In recent months, many countries have indicated to their populations that COVID-19 no longer represents an emergency threat and have eased measures such as mask wearing and physical distancing in crowded or confined spaces. Now, the weather has turned colder and people are gathering indoors.
  2. With a large number of people who are still not vaccinated, many people are left vulnerable to the virus
Covid-19 Vaccine WHO
Covid-19 vaccine

Take personal protective measures

Regular hand cleaning; maintaining physical distance from others; mask wearing; coughing or sneezing into a bent elbow or tissue; avoiding closed, confined and crowded spaces; and ensuring good ventilation indoors have proven to be effective when used together to prevent COVID-19 infection.

See also: Impact of Covid-19 on startups and new lessons on sustainability

Currently, 48% of people in the Region wear a mask when leaving home, according to self-reported data. A study published last week on the effectiveness of public health measures, suggested that mask wearing reduces COVID-19 incidence by 53%. If from today universal mask coverage of 95% was achieved, it is estimated that over 160 000 deaths could be prevented by 1 March 2022.

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