The World Health Organization said Wednesday that the battle against the Covid-19 outbreak has not been lost and that the virus will eventually be defeated.
With the number of COVID-19 deaths worldwide breaking 18,000 in a single day for the first time and new mutated viruses spreading rapidly around the world, WHO’s head of novel coronavirus technology, Maria van Kerkhov, says these mutated viruses are not a sign of failure.
“Does this mean we are losing the war?” she said at a WHO social media live event.
“We are fighting for our lives,” she said.
We have to make sure that we don’t fight each other;
We have to make sure we are fighting this virus…
Including mutated viruses.”
“We can defeat this virus — we will defeat this virus.”
There is a global scramble for the new crown vaccines, with richer countries stepping up efforts to vaccinate the elderly and health workers while poorer countries wait for their first doses.
Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergency planning department, said it would be unacceptable for rich countries to continue to vaccinate their general population while health workers and extremely vulnerable communities elsewhere remain exposed.
Zurich (Reuters) – If the Novel Coronavirus vaccine loses its effectiveness against the mutated virus, we believe we will be able to adapt the vaccine quickly, WHO Health Emergency Director Michael Ryan said on Wednesday.
“Look at the flu vaccine,” Ryan said in a social media question-and-answer session.
We change the composition of the vaccine twice a year in the northern and southern hemispheres, and we are able to roll out the vaccine very, very quickly to fight the major strains of influenza.”
“Even if the virus evolves to the point where our vaccine starts to lose its potency, there’s no reason to think we can’t adapt the vaccine to work against novel coronavirus,” he said.
We can make adjustments to these vaccines and I believe we can.”