COVID-19 Children Vaccination – COVID-19 Update

From The United Nations


Media  – World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus today (10 May) said COVID-19 cases and deaths have recently declined in most regions, “but it’s an unacceptably high plateau, with more than 5.4 million reported cases and almost 90 thousand deaths last week.”

Briefing journalists from Geneva, Tedros said, “any decline is welcome, but we have been here before. Over the past year, many countries have experienced a declining trend in cases and deaths, have relaxed public health and social measures too quickly, and individuals have let down their guard, only for those hard-won gains to be lost.”

The WHO official said, “vaccines are reducing severe disease and death in countries that are fortunate enough to have them in sufficient quantities, and early results suggest that vaccines might also drive down transmission. But the shocking global disparity in access to vaccines remains one of the biggest risks to ending the pandemic.”

He said, “there will come a time when we can all take off our masks, when we no longer have to keep our distance from each other, when we can once again go safely to concerts, sporting events, rallies and restaurants – as people in some countries are able to do now because they have no transmission. But for most of the world’s population who are not yet vaccinated, we’re not there yet.”

Tedros announced the launch of the “Together for India” appeal to raise funds to support WHO’s work in India, “including the purchase of oxygen, personal protective equipment and medicines.”

The WHO’s COVID-19 Technical lead, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove said, “in consultation with our virus evolution working group and our EPI teams and our lab teams internally, there is some available information to suggest increased transmissibility of B.1.617. There is a preprint that is out. So, this is a paper that has not undergone peer review, and it’s on a limited number of patients suggesting that there is some reduced neutralisation. And as such, we are classifying this as a variant of concern at the global level.”

For her part, WHO’s Chief Scientist, Dr Soumya Swaminathan said, “what we know now is that the vaccines work, the diagnostics work, the same treatments that are used for the regular virus work, so there’s really no need to change any of those. And in fact, people should go ahead and get whatever vaccine is available to them and that they’re eligible for.”


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