WHO Expresses Doubts about the End of the Pandemic Due to Corona Vaccines Alone
The head of WHO Europe doubts whether vaccines alone can end the corona pandemic, as previously claimed. Due to new virus variants, such as the extra contagious Delta, Hans Kluge reacted pessimistically on Friday about the role of vaccines in achieving herd immunity.
Kluge said in May that the pandemic would end once the minimum vaccination coverage of 70 percent is reached. However, due to the more contagious variants, the situation is now different, according to the director. These variants raise the bar for achieving herd immunity. It was not clear on Friday how high the vaccination rate should be.
It is unrealistic, according to epidemiologists, that herd immunity can now only be achieved with the use of vaccines, although they remain crucial to contain the pandemic. Besides vaccination, natural infection is the other way to become immune.
According to Kluge, the world has reached a point where vaccination is primarily intended to prevent severe illness and death. However, on the possibility that the world will have to deal with the coronavirus for years to come and the role of additional corona shots, he says health experts should “anticipate gradually adjusting the vaccination strategy” for the longer term.
53 countries fall under WHO Europe. However, at the end of last month, Kluge expressed his concerns about the stagnating vaccination coverage in Europe and the small number of vaccinations in poorer countries, where far from all risk groups have been vaccinated.