Even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage and thousands of new cases are recorded on a daily basis, vaccines are offering a glimmer of hope. More than a year after the virus emerged, inoculation drives are leading the fight even as many countries are forced to reinstate lockdowns and restrictions.
But the World Health Organization is not wholly convinced that this will be enough to eradicate or stave off the virus. According to Dr Michael Ryan, the Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, vaccines are part of the solution, but they alone won’t end the pandemic.
In a short clip of the interaction that was shared on their Instagram page, the organisation emphasised the need to continue with measures such as social distancing, usage of masks and more. Ryan said that while everyone was "beginning to put justifiable hope in the vaccines", they alone would not suffice.
"The vaccines will end the tragedy of death and the horrific images of the hospital ICUs full. But it will not stop the transmission. And there are still going to be people out there who are not protected because they can't be vaccinated, or because they won't be vaccinated. Or more importantly, they don't have access to the vaccines," he contended.
According to the Bloomberg COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker, more than 420 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across 133 countries. More than 118 million of these have been administered in the US. The interactive map however has no data about vaccination efforts in a large number of countries in Africa as well as some nations in Central America and Central Asia.