Given the possibility that the virus could persist for many years, health officials must now “think about how to gradually adjust the vaccine strategy, especially the issue of the third injection,” Hans Kluge told reporters.
In May, the WHO’s European director said that the pandemic would be over once we had reached 70% vaccination coverage.
When asked if that target is still relevant or needs to be increased further, Mr. Kludge admitted that the situation has changed because of new strains that are more contagious, like Delta.
“I think it will bring us to a point where vaccination is the first thing to prevent a more dangerous disease that causes a higher mortality rate,” he said.
70% of the population vaccinated may not be enough to achieve herd immunity (Image: Reuters)
“Taking into account that COVID-19 will continue to evolve and stay with us like the flu, we’ll have to anticipate how we will gradually adjust our vaccine strategy to accommodate the spread of the disease and the recovery of the virus.” gathering really valuable knowledge about the effects of the supplemental injection,” he said.
Epidemiologists suggest that achieving herd immunity by vaccination alone may be impractical, even though vaccination is still required to prevent a pandemic.
Kluge said that high vaccination rates are also necessary to reduce the strain on the health system, so that patients with other diseases are also treated.
The Delta variant is estimated to have a 60% faster spread rate than the Alpha variant, while the Alpha variant spreads twice as fast as the original virus.