“All COVID-19 virus variants which have emerged up to now do reply to the obtainable accepted vaccines,” WHO European Regional Director Hans Kluge stated Thursday at a information convention.
Kluge stated the B.1.617 variant now killing hundreds of individuals every 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 circumstances are linked to worldwide journey, he stated.
“It is ready to unfold quickly and displace the B.1.1.7 variant that has turn out to be the dominant lineage in Europe,” he stated.
Kluge emphasised that whereas many individuals haven’t been vaccinated but, all variants could be managed with public well being and security measures, akin 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 obtainable, as of at present,” he stated. “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 stated 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 have been made this time final yr that resulted in a resurgence of COVID-19,” he stated.
Luge stated nations ought to “remove or rethink” worldwide journey. However the European Union and the UK have lately relaxed steering for worldwide journey.
“Vaccines will be the mild on the finish of the tunnel, however we should not be blinded by that mild,” he stated.