Covid-19 vaccines “no silver bullet” remain vigilant: WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) regional office for the western Pacific on Thursday called for greater vigilance with the introduction of the coronavirus vaccine (COVID-19). long pandemic that has already killed over 1.6 million people.

“Whoever you are, wherever you live, as long as the virus is circulating somewhere, we are all at risk and we must continue to prepare for the worst-case scenario,” said Takeshi Kasai, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific. virtual media meeting.

Kasai appealed to the younger and socially active people under 40 to “do everything possible to avoid infection for themselves and everyone around you,” despite the fears and uncertainties caused by the pandemic.

“By following the advice of health officials, you can directly contribute to protecting the lives of the people in your community and thereby revitalizing your society’s economy in 2021,” said Kasai.

“I urge you to think about those who are at high risk for severe COVID. If you contract the virus, you may unwittingly pass it on to your parent or grandparent, neighbor or friend with an underlying disease,” said Kasai.

He also urged young people to “think about health workers who have been working day and night for almost a year. They are exhausted.”

Kasai also appealed to governments across the region “to put in place an extra layer of surveillance that detects early signs of infection in those groups that are difficult to catch with the existing system.”

Kasai said the COVID-19 vaccines were “not a silver bullet that will end the pandemic in the near future”.

“Developing a safe and effective vaccine is one thing, but making it in reasonable quantities and getting what you need is another. They will only be available in limited quantities initially and high-risk groups should be prioritized first,” said he.

“This means we are fed up with this pandemic. We need to adhere to the actions and behaviors that protect not only ourselves but the people around us as well. Washing hands, wearing masks, physical distancing, and avoiding places with high.” Transmission risk. “He added.

“For now, we must continue to make the decisions that will reduce the transmission of the virus and protect our families and communities. That way, we can go into 2021 with hope,” Kasai said.

Babatunde Olowokure, WHO regional emergency director, echoed Kasai, saying that the “COVID-19 vaccine itself is not a silver bullet to end COVID-19”.

“There is no room for complacency. So we must remain vigilant and continue to adhere to our public health interventions,” he said.

He also urged governments to “examine” strategies that could help the younger population deal with public health interventions and manage them appropriately.

There are currently 985,539 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the West Pacific region, including 18,641 deaths.

This story was published by a wire agency feed with no changes to the text. Only the heading was changed.

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