The Pan American Health Organization called on the governments of the region not to lower their guard with prevention measures.
The Pan American Health Organization warned on Wednesday that the coronavirus will continue to spread even when a vaccine is found and called on countries to prepare to immunize the population without lowering their guard with the measures taken so far to stop the infections.
Carissa Etienne, director of PAHO, the regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO), told a video-transmitted press conference that beyond scientists discovering an “effective” and “durable solution” vaccine against covid-19, countries must “be realistic” about its immediate scope.
“This virus will continue to spread and people will continue to get sick, even when a vaccine is distributed,” he said at a press conference.
“Therefore, we cannot put all our hope in vaccines alone. As is often the case in public health, there are no magic bullets,” he stressed.
Etienne noted that “in recent weeks, there have also been a number of important advances in the search for a vaccine” against Covid.
“Currently, about 200 vaccine candidates are being studied,” he explained. Although she clarified: “And we hope that one or more of these will be effective, but, again, there is no guarantee.”
According to the PAHO expert, “it is possible that early vaccines only provide partial protection or they may not work for everyone. We still do not know which vaccine will be considered safe and effective and how it will work.”
Etienne called for continued reliance on the guidelines imposed to minimize the spread of the virus: diagnostic tests, contact tracing and quarantines, as well as physical distancing, frequent hand washing and the use of masks in public.
“I urge countries around the world to prepare for a coronavirus vaccine, but also to be realistic, knowing that these preparations do not replace everything else we must do to save lives today,” he stressed.
On the other hand, the official recalled that the region has the technical cooperation provided by PAHO to prepare and implement its vaccination campaigns.
“Once a vaccine is shown to be safe and effective in trials, we will need countries to work together to quickly validate these findings,” he said.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the countries of the Americas have already reported more than 15.5 million cases and some 530,000 deaths from Covid-19, PAHO said Wednesday.
“This week, we reached another unfortunate milestone as the United States mourns its 200,000th death,” Etienne noted.
The PAHO director also warned that “as the virus continues to spread to other parts of the world, here in the Americas (Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Mexico and Argentina) they continue to be among the top ten nations with the highest number of cases. of Covid-19 worldwide “.