B.A4 and BA.5 variants drive 20 percent increase in cases – Global Issues

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed in his weekly briefing to journalists that the overall figure remains “relatively stable” overall, but no one should be under the illusion that the coronavirus is on the decline.

“This pandemic is changing, but it’s not over yet. We’ve made progress, but it’s not over yet.

Acting together

Only through concerted action by governments, international bodies and the private sector can we solve the converging challengesthe WHO chief said.

He warned that our ability to detect the virus is under threat as reporting and genomic sequences decline. The optimistic mid-year deadline for all countries to vaccinate at least 70 percent of their population seems unlikely, with an average rate in low-income countries of 13 percent.

On the bright side, in the past 18 months, more than 12 billion vaccines have been distributed around the world and 75 percent of the world’s health professionals and people over 60 have now been vaccinated.

20 million lives saved by gunshots

the influential Lancet medical journal estimates 20 million lives have been saved by vaccinessaid Tedros.

Last year, vaccine hoarding by rich and producing countries proved to be the main barrier to entry, but this year he described what he described as the hesitant “political commitment to getting vaccines to humans — and challenges of disinformation,” which is slowing the pace of hinder vaccinations at the national level.

He called for all risk groups to be vaccinated and strengthened as soon as possible.

“For the general population, it also makes sense to continue to bolster that wall of immunity, which helps reduce disease severity and lower the risk of long-term or post-COVID illness.”

He said persistent ‘mild’ cases are disruptive and harmfulleaving children out of school and adults out of jobs, “causing further disruption to the economy and supply chain.”

He said the goal of 70 percent coverage was still desirable, based on the principle that if we don’t distribute vaccines fairly, “then we undermine the philosophy that all lives are worth the same

Second generation vaccines

Tedros said it was critical to get funding for “second-generation vaccines,” as well as testing and treatments.

“The ideal solution would be the development of a pan-coronavirus vaccine that covers all variants to date and possibly future variants,” said the WHO chief.

“This is achievable, the WHO continues to convene scientists and researchers and a lot of research has been done on this virus and understanding immunology in general.”

New global trials

He said through the agency’s Solidarity Trials, global trials of new vaccines could take place to quickly establish their safety and efficacy.

“Now is the time”, he concluded, because government health departments to integrate testing and antivirals into clinical careso that sick people can be treated quickly.

“Of new variants of care likely – genomic sequencing remains critical. I also advocate accelerated efforts and incentives to be developed around the moonshot of pan-coronavirus vaccine development.”

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