The World Health Organization said on Friday that in the global fight against the coronavirus, a vaccine would be a “vital tool,” but it won’t stop the Covid-19 pandemic on its own and there’s no certainty that scientists can discover one.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during the news meeting of the agency’s headquarters in Geneva that world leaders and the public need to learn how to treat the virus and make lasting changes to their everyday lives to get the virus to low levels. “At the same time, we will not, we cannot go back to the way things were.”
Outbreaks and pandemics have affected economies and cultures all through history, he said.
“In particular, the Covid-19 pandemic has given new impetus to the need to accelerate efforts to respond to climate change,” he said. “The Covid-19 pandemic has given us a glimpse of our world as it could be: cleaner skies and rivers.” “The Covid-19 pandemic has given us a glimpse of our world as it could be: cleaner skies and rivers.””
According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the virus has infected more than 22.7 million people worldwide and killed at least 794.100 in over seven months. According to the WHO, there are currently at least 30 new vaccines in clinical trials but there is no assurance that they will be safe and effective, he said.
Also though clinical trials are advancing on new vaccines, scientists say crucial questions remain. In December covid-19 was discovered. Although numerous research papers and studies on the virus have been published, scientists still do not fully understand how it affects the body, or how well after recovery someone is safe from reinfection.
Earlier this month, Tedros said the coronavirus did not have a “silver bullet” and “there might never be.”
He said world leaders could avoid new outbreaks by following the “basics” of managing public health and disease. “Testing, isolating and treating patients and tracing and quarantining their contacts. Do it all. Inform, empower and listen to communities. Do it all,” he said Aug. 3.
Tedros said Friday that the pandemic can make a difference to “every single person.” “Each person and family is responsible for knowing locally the level of Covid-19 transmission and understanding what they can do to protect themselves and others,” he said
Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the emerging diseases and zoonosis unit at the WHO, said that learning “how to live with this virus” is “very important” to the public.
It will help “continue to eliminate transmission, recognise cases and clusters that are turning up so we can put them out quickly and reduce as many deaths as possible,” she says. “Some countries would need to re-implement certain steps in doing so.”
Van Kerkhove said that some countries are now choosing, using data, to enforce social distancing initiatives in areas where the transmission level is high.
“What we are seeing now is a targeted approach to adding interventions that need to be put in place to get outbreaks under control and reduce the number of infections that are happening,” she said.