Scientists estimate that around 70% vaccination rate is required for herd immunity, at which entire populations are protected from infection
Representative picture. PTI
Geneva: The World Health Organization’s chief scientist has warned that while many countries are starting to introduce vaccination programs to stop COVID-19 Collective immunity is highly unlikely this year.
In a press conference on Monday, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan that the countries are critical and that their populations will maintain strict social distancing and other disease control measures for the foreseeable future. In the past few weeks, the UK, United States, France, Canada, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands and others have started vaccinating millions of their citizens against the coronavirus. .
“Even if vaccines protect the most vulnerable, we will not achieve population or herd immunity in 2021,” Swaminathan said. “Even if it happens in some pockets and countries, people around the world are not protected. “”
Scientists generally estimate that around 70% vaccination rate is required for herd immunity, at which entire populations are protected from disease. However, some fear that the extremely contagious nature of COVID-19 could require a significantly higher threshold.
Dr. Bruce Aylward, advisor to the WHO director general, said the United Nations health department was hoping for the coronavirus Vaccinations could start later this month or February in some of the world’s poorest countries, urging the world community to do more to ensure that all countries have access to vaccines.
“We can’t do it alone,” Aylward said, saying WHO needs vaccine manufacturers to work together to immunize vulnerable populations. Aylward said WHO is aiming for a “rollout plan” outlining which developing countries could get vaccines next month.
Yet the majority of COVID-19 in the world The vaccine supply has already been bought by the rich countries. The United Nations-backed COVAX initiative, which aims to provide vaccines to developing countries, is lacking vaccines, money and logistical support as donor countries strive to protect their own citizens, particularly due to the newly discovered COVID-19. Variants in the UK and South Africa that many officials accuse of increasing prevalence.
However, the WHO said the recent spikes in transmission were more due to “increased mixing of people” than to new varieties.
WHO Technical Officer for COVID-19 Maria Van Kerkhove said that in cases in many countries the tip was discovered before the new variants were identified. Van Kerkhove noticed that COVID-19 was in the summer Cases have been reduced to single digits in most European countries.
“We lost the battle because we changed our mix patterns in summer, autumn and especially Christmas and New Years,” she explained to so many people who had multiple contacts with family and friends on vacation. “It had a direct impact on the exponential growth you’ve seen in many countries,” she said, calling the increase in case numbers “vertical” in some places.
WHO emergency chief Dr. Michael Ryan said while there is evidence, variants could accelerate the spread of COVID-19 “There is no evidence that the variants cause an element of gravity.” He said the variants shouldn’t change countries’ epidemic control strategies.
“It doesn’t change what you do, but it gives new energy to the virus,” Ryan said.
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