The Delta variant of Covid also runs in countries “in places with high vaccination coverage”. This is what the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, during the usual press conference to take stock of the Coronavirus epidemic. In these countries, the Sars-CoV-2 mutant “is spreading rapidly, mainly infecting unprotected and vulnerable people and constantly exerting pressure on health systems”. In countries with low vaccination coverage, “the situation is particularly serious. Delta and other highly transmissible variants are driving catastrophic waves of Covid, which are resulting in a high number of hospitalizations and deaths”.
“Not everywhere” countries are suffering “the same blow. We are in the midst of a growing two-way pandemic,” he stressed. “Last week marked the fourth consecutive week of rising Covid-19 cases globally, with increases in all but one WHO Regions. And after 10 weeks of decline, deaths are rising again.” . The Delta variant of Sars-CoV-2 “is now present in more than 104 countries and we anticipate that it will soon become the dominant strain in circulation around the world. The world is watching in real time, as the virus continues to change and become more transmissible “.
“We continue to receive news from all regions of the world about hospitals that are reaching maximum capacity”. “The Delta variant is circling the world at a burning pace, leading a new peak in cases and deaths.” And “as countries relax public health and social measures, they must consider the impact on health workers and health systems.” “Especially in low-income countries – he adds – exhausted health workers are fighting to save lives amid a shortage of personal protective equipment, oxygen and treatments”.
“The global gap in the supply of anti-Covid vaccines” is increasingly “unfair”. “Some countries and regions are actually ordering millions of booster doses, before other countries have had supplies to vaccinate their health workers and the most vulnerable people.”
“We need Moderna and Pfizer, instead of prioritizing the provision of recalls to countries where the population has relatively high coverage, do everything possible to channel the supply” to the Covax platform and “to low and middle income countries,” has continued. Currently, the WHO DG noted, “the data show us that vaccination offers long-lasting immunity against serious and deadly Covid-19. The priority now must be to vaccinate those who have not received doses and protection”.
“We are making conscious choices right now not to protect those who need it most,” Tedros pressed. “Stop talking about vaccinating low-income countries in 2023, 2024. This is no time for a pause. We want to see progress and a wave of action to increase the supply and sharing of life-saving health tools.”
The pandemic is not over
“My message today is that we are experiencing a worsening health emergency that further threatens lives, livelihoods and a solid global economic recovery. It’s far worse in places that have very few vaccines, but the Covid pandemic isn’t over since. nowhere. Even the countries that managed to successfully avert the first waves of the virus, only through public health measures, are now in the midst of devastating epidemics “. “The current collective strategy reminds me of a team of firefighters dealing with a forest fire. Leaving a part” of this pyre still active could lead to “reducing the flames in one area, but while it is smoldering everywhere, and the sparks will eventually travel and grow again “turning” into a roaring furnace “, highlighted the WHO DG, stressing that everyone” should fight together to put out the hell of the Covid pandemic, everywhere “. “Thousands of people are still dying every day and this deserves urgent action,” he added, announcing that he will discuss “the worsening of the situation on Wednesday at the meeting of the emergency committee of the International Health Regulations.” Next week, however, “WHO and WTO will bring together leaders from the public and private sectors to address the shortage and inequality in access to vaccines and other health tools”.
No data for third dose vaccine hypothesis
There is not enough data at this time to say that the third dose of the Covid vaccine is needed, points out World Health Organization expert Ann Lindstrand. “We do not have sufficient systemic evidence that can indicate the need for booster doses,” he said in response to a question on the subject of the third dose, in the spotlight these days. The debate has reignited after the Pfizer and BioNTech companies have explained in recent days that, 6 months after the second dose, immunity begins to decline, announcing their intention to ask the American FDA for the green light for the third dose. “There is a decline” in immunity “as there is with many different vaccines.” But “if you do a full course of vaccination, as we propose in all our policies, you have good protection”, assured the WHO expert.
And if you look at the issue by observing “the global impact on public health right now we are confident”, continued Lindstrand, reiterating the message launched shortly before by the director general of the UN health agency, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, regarding the fact that at the moment the priority is “vaccinating those who have not received doses and protection”, said the DG, explaining that some countries have not yet covered health care and fragile people. And, speaking of Moderna and Pfizer, Tedros added that they need to do everything to “channel the supply of” vaccines “to the Covax platform, instead of prioritizing the provision of boosters to countries where the population has coverage. relatively high “.