Some people were falling into a “false sense of security” after being vaccinated against the coronavirus, the chief of the World Health Organization has said, warning that the pandemic is not yet over.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was speaking to the media in Geneva on Wednesday.
“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,” said Tedros.
“Vaccines save lives, but they do not fully prevent transmission,” the chief of the UN health agency said.
“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,” he warned.
Delta variant is now dominant around the world, having all but out-competed other strains.
“If you are vaccinated, you have a much lower risk of severe disease and death, but you are still at risk of being infected, and of infecting others.”
WHO chief urged all governments to implement a comprehensive and tailored approach of public health and social measures to prevent transmission, take the pressure off health systems and save lives.
Once again in Europe
Last week, more than 60% of all reported cases and deaths from COVID-19 globally were, according to WHO, once again in Europe.
“The sheer number of cases is translating to unsustainable pressure on health systems and exhausted health workers,” Tedros said.
Europe recorded more than 2.4 million new cases last week, an 11-percent rise on the week before.
While talking to reporters, WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan 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 said.