The director of the World Health Organization in Europe appeared pessimistic today about whether the vaccination can stop the covid-19 pandemic on its own, as coronavirus strains have reduced the chance of achieving collective immunity.
As covid-19 seems increasingly likely to become an endemic disease and not be eradicated, Hans Klüge asked “to now expect an adjustment to vaccination strategies”, especially in terms of additional doses.
In May, Kluge pointed out that “the pandemic will end when at least 70% of the world’s population has been vaccinated.”
Asked if this target is still in place or if the rate should be increased, the WHO Europe Officer replied that the new, more contagious strains of the coronavirus, mainly the Delta, have changed the data.
Then, in May, despite the Delta executive, which had first been identified in India had already begun to spread, “there were not so many different, more contagious strains,” Kluge explained.
“So I think that leads us to the conclusion that the main goal of vaccination is, first of all, to prevent serious forms of the disease and death,” Kluge said.
According to epidemiologists, it now seems difficult to achieve collective immunity through vaccines alone, but these remain critical to limiting the spread of the covid-19 pandemic.
A very high level of vaccination is still necessary “to avoid the pressure on our health systems, which are in dire need of treating diseases other than covid,” he said.