“All COVID-19 virus variants which have emerged to this point do reply to the accessible authorised vaccines,” WHO European Regional Director Hans Kluge mentioned Thursday at a information convention.
Kluge mentioned the B.1.617 variant now killing 1000’s of individuals day by day in India, the place it was first detected, is of particular concern.
That variant has unfold to all six WHO areas and has been detected in 26 of the 53 nations within the WHO European area. Most instances are linked to worldwide journey, he mentioned.
“It is ready to unfold quickly and displace the B.1.1.7 variant that has change into the dominant lineage in Europe,” he mentioned.
Kluge emphasised that whereas many individuals haven’t been vaccinated but, all variants might be managed with public well being and security measures, corresponding to masks and social distancing.
“In the intervening time, we are able to say that each one the 4 variants do reply to the vaccines made accessible, as of at the moment,” he mentioned. “However the easiest way to counteract [spread] is to hurry up the vaccination roll-out.”
The opposite variants are those first detected in Brazil (P.1) and South Africa (B.1.351).
Luge mentioned the vaccination program is bringing down COVID numbers within the WHO European area, with case counts reducing 60% in a month. However he warned towards letting our guard down.
“This progress is fragile. We have now been right here earlier than. Allow us to not make the identical errors that had been made this time final yr that resulted in a resurgence of COVID-19,” he mentioned.
Luge mentioned nations ought to “get rid of or rethink” worldwide journey. However the European Union and the UK have lately relaxed steering for worldwide journey.
“Vaccines stands out as the mild on the finish of the tunnel, however we should not be blinded by that mild,” he mentioned.