GENEVA.- The highly contagious Delta variant of covid-19 reduced the effectiveness of vaccines against the disease by 40 percent, said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization (WHO), urging people to continue wearing face masks and respecting distancing. measures.
“Vaccines save lives, but they do not completely prevent the transmission of Covid-19,” explained Tedros, as the pandemic wreaks havoc in Europe.
Last week, global falls rose 6 percent from the previous seven days, to reach a total of 3.6 million, of which two-thirds (2.4 million) were registered in Europe, the current epicenter of the pandemic, according to data. published by WHO.
“There are data suggesting that prior to the arrival of the Delta variant, vaccines reduced the transmission of the virus by 60 percent, but with its appearance, they dropped to 40 percent,” he said.
“We fear that there is a misconception that vaccines have put an end to the pandemic and that vaccinated people no longer need to take further precautions,” he added.
The WHO’s expert committee for the analysis of vaccines against covid confirmed that vaccination of children and adolescents can help in the fight against pandemics, but is “less urgent” than immunization of other risk groups.
As children and adolescents are at lower risk of developing severe covid-19, countries should prioritize sharing vaccine doses with the Covax program to bring urgently needed supplies to the poorest countries, the WHO said.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, for its part, warned of a “very high risk” from covid in the coming weeks and recommended giving all adults the booster vaccine and, as a priority, those over 40 years of age.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he received an experimental nasal spray vaccine against the coronavirus three days after receiving his booster injection. Russia is facing the highest increase in infection and death since the pandemic began.
Putin received the locally produced Sputnik V vaccine in the middle of the year. On Sunday, he said that he received a booster dose of Sputnik Light and that he wanted to participate in the tests of Sputnik V in its nasal version.
Denis Logunov, deputy director of the Gamaleya Center, which has state funding and created Sputnik V, told Putin that the nasal vaccine is in the testing phase and is being studied “as always, with staff overseeing.”