Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the WHO
Geneva, November 25 (RHC)-- The chief of the World Health Organization has warned that the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over and that some people were falling into a “false sense of security” after being vaccinated against the virus.
In a news briefing in Geneva on Wednesday, Dr. Tedros Adhanom said many vaccinated people were thinking – wrongly – that receiving the COVID shot meant they no longer needed to take any other precautions.
“In many countries and communities, we are concerned about a false sense of security that vaccines have ended the pandemic, and that people who are vaccinated do not need to take any other precautions,” Tedros told reporters. “Vaccines save lives, but they do not fully prevent transmission,” he added.
“Data suggest that before the arrival of the Delta variant, vaccines reduced transmission by about 60 percent. With Delta, that has dropped to about 40 percent,” Tedros warned.
Delta is now dominant around the world, having all but out-competed other strains. “We cannot say this clearly enough: even if you are vaccinated, continue to take precautions to prevent becoming infected yourself, and infecting someone else who could die.”
“That means wearing a mask, maintaining distance, avoiding crowds and meeting others outside if you can, or in a well-ventilated space inside.
WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan on Wednesday said that people in Europe were “back to pre-pandemic levels of social mixing” despite an alarming rise in cases and hospitalisations.
“The reality is the virus will continue to transmit intensely in that environment,” he told reporters.
Europe’s return as the pandemic’s epicentre has been blamed on Delta, a slow vaccine uptake in some nations, colder weather, and the easing of restrictions.