Vaccine on its own will not end COVID-19 pandemic: WHO chief
Photo Credit: ANI

The World Health Organization's (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday said that a vaccine would not by itself stop the coronavirus pandemic.

“A vaccine will complement the other tools we have, not replace them. A vaccine on its own will not end the pandemic," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, reported NDTV.

Tedros also said that supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine would initially be restricted only for health workers, older people and other at-risk populations. "Health workers, older people and other at-risk populations (to) be prioritised. That will hopefully reduce the number of deaths and enable the health systems to cope,” he said.

US biotech company Moderna on Monday announced a potential Covid-19 vaccine, which has been shown to be 94.5 per cent effective at protecting people from coronavirus, according to interim results from late-stage clinical trials.

This announcement followed announcements by US giant Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech who said their vaccine, was found to be more than 90 per cent effective.

Meanwhile, Tedros also said that it's "extremely concerned" by the recent surge in Covid-19 cases in some countries, particularly in Europe and the Americas.

"Right now we are extremely concerned by the surge in cases we're seeing in some countries. Particularly in Europe and the Americas, health workers and health systems are being pushed to the breaking point," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing.

He warned that "those countries that are letting the virus run unchecked are playing with fire," as there will be "further needless deaths and suffering," "a significant number of people experiencing long-term effects of the virus," and health workers in particular facing "extreme mental health pressure and cases severely burdening health systems in too many countries."

The overall number of global coronavirus cases has topped 54.8 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 1,325,750, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

As of Tuesday morning, the total caseload and death toll stood at 54,826,773 and 1,325,752, respectively, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update.

The US is the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 11,197,791 and 247,142, respectively, according to the CSSE. India comes in second place in terms of cases at 88,74,291, while the country's death toll soared to 1,30,519.

The other countries with more than a million confirmed cases are Brazil (5,863,093), France (2,041,293), Russia (1,932,711), Spain (1,496,864), the UK (1,394,299), Argentina (1,318,384), Italy (1,205,881), Colombia (1,205,217) and Mexico (1,006,522), the CSSE figures showed.

(Inputs from Agencies)

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