WHO says vaccine would not end COVID-19 on its own

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday a vaccine will be a vital tool to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but “it won’t end the pandemic on its own.”

“A vaccine will be a vital tool, and we hope that we will have one as soon as possible. But there’s no guarantee that we will, and even if we do have a vaccine, it won’t end the pandemic on its own,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing from Geneva.

According to him, “we must all learn to control and manage this virus using the tools we have now, and to make the adjustments to our daily lives that are needed to keep ourselves and each other safe.”

He said it’s vital that countries are able to quickly identify and prevent clusters, to prevent community transmission and the possibility of new restrictions.

But the lockdowns and shutdowns are only short term solutions to a long term problem, Dr. Tedros added.

“So-called lockdowns enabled many countries to suppress transmission and take the pressure off their health systems. But lockdowns are not a long-term solution for any country.

“We do not need to choose between lives and livelihoods, or between health and the economy.

“That’s a false choice.On the contrary, the pandemic is a reminder that health and the economy are inseparable,” he said.

According to him, WHO is committed to working with all countries to move into a new stage of opening their economies, societies, schools and businesses safely.”

“To do that, every single person must be involved. Every single person can make a difference. Every person, family, community and nation must make their own decisions, based on the level of risk where they live.

“That means every person and family has a responsibility to know the level of transmission locally, and to understand what they can do to protect themselves and others.

“At the same time, we will not – we cannot – go back to the way things were.Throughout history, outbreaks and pandemics have changed economies and societies. This one will be no different,” Dr. Tedros said.

Globally, there are now more than 22 million reported cases of COVID-19, and 780,000 deaths.

“But it’s not just the numbers of cases and deaths that matter. In many countries, the number of patients who need hospitalization and advanced care remains high, putting huge pressure on health systems and affecting the provision of services for other health needs.

“Several countries around the world are now experiencing fresh outbreaks after a long period with little or no transmission.These countries are a cautionary tale for those that are now seeing a downward trend in cases. Progress does not mean victory,” he said.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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