Coronavirus: WHO chief warns vaccines do not mean time for complacency | FULL

World Health Organization (WHO) director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday warned that while it was good news that another vaccine maker had announced a high rate of effectiveness in its product, it was not the time for complacency. He urged countries to continue their effort to combat the virus and not to adopt a “laissez-faire” attitude and invest in health systems, even if their regions are seeing lower case rates.

On Monday, there was apparent good news in the fight against COVID-19 after Moderna announced its vaccine was 94.5 per cent effective, according to preliminary data. It comes about a week after Pfizer announced its own vaccine in Phase 3 trials was more than 90 per cent effective.

Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), spoke about the Moderna vaccine and said the news was “quite encouraging,” but cautioned they would still need to see what the final efficiency and safety profile is for the vaccine. She added they hope clinical trials will continue for those currently in progress to see how effective they are.

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the COVID-19 technical lead for the World Health Organization, responded to a report of a cluster of cases at WHO headquarters (HQ) saying there have been 65 cases associated with HQ staff, but not all have been on premises. She said the 65 cases have been since the beginning of the pandemic, with 36 having had access to the premises.

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