Vaccines Are Not ‘Unicorn’ Solution to End the COVID-19 Pandemic, WHO Official Says

Executive Director of the World Health Organization’s Emergency Programme (WHO) Mike Ryan said that vaccines, though effective, are not the lone solution to end the pandemic and would do nothing if other measures are ignored.

Executive Director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Emergency Programme Mike Ryan said that vaccines, though effective, are not the lone solution to end the pandemic and would do nothing if other measures are ignored.

“Some people think that vaccines will be, in a sense, the solution, the unicorn we’ve all been chasing. It’s not,” Ryan said at a virtual briefing on social media last Nov. 18 from the Geneva headquarters.

Ryan also said that it would take “at least four to six months before we have significant levels of vaccination going on anywhere.”

According to Ryan, countries must face the current wave of the pandemic without vaccines and that physical distancing measures is the most important thing people can do for now to stop the virus from spreading.

“If we have vaccines and forget the other things, COVID does not go to zero,” Ryan said, explaining that vaccinations are additional tools in fighting the pandemic once they are made widely available and that existing measures must still be maintained.

“If we add that physical distancing and hygiene and care to vaccine, I think we would go a long way to getting rid of this virus,” Ryan said.

His comments came the same day pharmaceutical company Pfizer along with its German partner BioNTech announced that its vaccine was 95% effective, according to the final results of its late-stage trial. A few days before, biotechnology company Moderna announced nearly similar effectiveness for its vaccine, according to its preliminary data. Meanwhile, Russia also claims that its vaccine is 92% effective.


© Fourth Estate® — All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.