WHO chief raises questions about vaccines


PTI, Feb 9, 2021, 9:17 AM IST

Geneva: The head of the World Health Organization said the emergence of new COVID-19 variants has raised questions about whether or not existing vaccines will work, calling it “concerning news” that the vaccines developed so far may be less effective against the variant first detected in South Africa.

At a press briefing on Monday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said South Africa’s decision to suspend its vaccination campaign using the AstraZeneca vaccine is “a reminder that we need to do everything we can to reduce circulation of the virus with proven public health measures.”

He said there were some important caveats in the study South Africa cited part of the rationale to delay COVID-19 immunisation, noting the study’s small sample size and the fact that it was done mostly in younger, healthier participants.

Tedros also called for manufacturers to be ready to quickly adapt their vaccines so that they would remain effective.

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