Coronavirus vaccine will ‘not replace’ other tools, WHO warns
Monday, 16 November 2020
A vaccine alone will not be enough to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic, the Director-General of the World Health Organisation warned on Monday.
“A vaccine will complement the other tools we have, not replace them,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the WHO’s executive board.
Dr. Tedros has, in recent days, tried to temper the optimism that emerged last week when Pfizer and BioNTech announced that preliminary data from their phase 3 trials of their vaccine showed 90% efficacy.
“Initially supply of Covid-19 vaccines will be limited, so health workers, older people and other at-risk populations will be prioritised,” he said.
“That will hopefully reduce the number of deaths & enable health systems to cope, but the virus will still have a lot room to move,” he warned, urging that measures to control the spread of Covid-19, such as testing, quarantine and contact tracing, should not be ended prematurely.
The pandemic has flared up again in many European countries, forcing authorities to take new measures to try to control it. Belgium, for example, remains in lockdown until at least the end of the month.