The World Health Organization has urged people to continue to take the coronavirus outbreak seriously and not to act as though the pandemic will soon be over, despite recent progress in the development of Covid-19 vaccines.
“Progress on vaccines gives us all a lift and we can now start to see the light at the end of the tunnel”, the organization’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday, before adding: “However, WHO is concerned that there is a growing perception that the Covid-19 pandemic is over.”
The health official went on to explain that “at present, many places are witnessing very high transmission of the Covid-19 virus”. This puts immense extra pressure on hospitals, intensive care units and health workers, which are sometimes “running at or over capacity.”
Furthermore, new alarming data indicates that protection from vaccines “may not be lifelong and therefore re-infections may occur,” the WHO’s top emergencies expert Mike Ryan, said.
Vaccines do not equal zero Covid.
The WHO’s comments come on the heels of the UK becoming the first country in the world to approve a vaccine, jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.
Notably, on Thursday, Pfizer’s CEO seemed to echo Ryan’s concerns, saying that he “wasn’t certain” if the already green-lit cure would stop transmission of Covid-19.