Covid-19: a vaccine will not be enough to beat the epidemic, said the head of the WHO

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Will the future vaccine against Covid-19 put an end to the epidemic that affects the whole world? According to the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, vaccination will only "complement the other tools we have, it will not replace them."

The prospect of a vaccine seems to be approaching. On Monday, November 16, Moderna announced that its vaccine is 94.5% effective. Shortly before, Pfizer and Biontech had revealed that they had carried out a first interim analysis of their phase 3 clinical trial and had obtained promising results: their vaccine would be 90% effective.

Other more advanced vaccines include AstraZeneca, which will soon release the results of phase 3 of its clinical trial. According to the laboratory, this vaccine could be implemented shortly after Christmas. Sanofi also announced that it had obtained convincing results at the end of phase 2 of the clinical trial on its vaccine and revealed that it could be available from June 2021.

The vaccine "will complement the other tools we have, it will not replace them."

Will the next arrival of a vaccine be enough to defeat the epidemic? No, according to the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. In the last executive council of the institution, he said that a vaccine "would complement the other tools we have, not replace them."

To make his point, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus explained that vaccine quantities will be limited at first. "For this reason, caregivers, the elderly and those at risk will have priority and we hope that this will reduce the number of deaths and allow health systems to resist," he explained.

Result: vaccination will not be accessible to the entire population, which "will still leave a lot of room for the virus to operate," added the WHO chief.

In September, the European director of the World Health Organization, Hans Kluge, already warned on the subject: "I hear all the time: The vaccine will be the end of the epidemic. Of course not. We do not even know if the vaccine will to be effective in all sectors of the population. Some signals that we are receiving is that it will be effective for some, but not for others, "he explained.

Opinion shared by several doctors, such as virologist Christian Drosten, considered the leading expert on coronavirus in Germany. In October he already pointed out the possibility that future vaccines are not "perfect" and that "they do not offer enough protection or that there are side effects that prevent them from being recommended to young people." This is why surveillance will always be required, even when a vaccine is available.

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