As the world has just started preparing to heave a sigh of relief, the battle does not seem to be over anytime soon. The news of Pfizer and Moderna seeing a promising success rate in the making of vaccines is instilling a seed of hope among many. However, the WHO has warned that the vaccine alone cannot diminish the pandemic.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is the director-general of the World Health Organization and he said, “A vaccine will complement the other tools we have, not replace them. A vaccine on its own will not end the pandemic.”
Several companies like Russia’s Sputnik V, Pfizer’s BNT16 mRNA-based vaccine, and Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN are announcing effective results in the clinical trials. And the statement from Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has taken many by surprise.
On Sunday, the WHO revealed that 660,905 cases were registered, and it has set a new record. The director-general further added, “That will still leave the virus with a lot of room to move. Surveillance will need to continue, people will still need to be tested, isolated and cared for, contacts will still need to be traced … and individuals will still need to be cared for.”
When the distribution is ready, “health workers, older people and other at-risk populations will be prioritised.”
Till now, no vaccine has been approved by the authorities yet. Even if approved, the distribution is going to take a long time. Pfizer’s vaccine needs low temperatures, and it might be impractical to administer in various parts of the world.
Experts say, when COVID-19 is under control, it will most probably stay with us, similar to flu.