Head Of WHO Says There Is 'Concerning News' About Vaccines And COVID-19 Variants

Head Of WHO Says There Is ‘Concerning News’ About Vaccines And COVID-19 Variants

On Monday, the head of the World Health Organization said that the development of new coronavirus strains had raised questions about whether existing vaccines will be effective against the new variants. He calls it “concerning news.” 

The Associated Press reports that Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press briefing that South Africa’s decision to suspend vaccination efforts using the AstraZeneca vaccine is “a reminder that we need to do everything we can to reduce the circulation of the virus with proven public health measures.”

He cautioned that manufacturers would need to “tweak” their existing vaccines to address the ongoing mutations. A booster shot will most likely be necessary. This is especially important now that the mutated strains have spread around globally and will likely become dominant strains. 

The WHO’s chief scientist, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, said people shouldn’t take South Africa’s suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine to mean that the vaccine is not working. She said that all the available information to date shows that vaccines reduce deaths, hospitalizations, and severe disease.

COVID-19 vaccines developed by Novavax, Pfizer and BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson also seem to be less effective against the virus’s South African strain. Although less effective, they may slow spread and lessen the symptoms associated with the virus.

About ErinBoogie

Erin Boogie is a blogger for BallerAlert.com and producer/co-host of the weekly radio show In the Field Radio.

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