World Health Organization (WHO) Chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned against the possibility that people worldwide were starting to become complacent with the coronavirus pandemic due to the rising vaccination rates.
During a Wednesday news briefing in Geneva, the medical professional said that many vaccinated individuals were falling into a mental trap. Getting the coronavirus vaccines meant they could take it easy and not worry about getting infected. Ghebreyesus warned against the notion and said that vaccines did not "fully prevent transmission."
Complacency with the Pandemic
Ghebreyesus said that residents from various countries and communities have wrongly believed that vaccines have ended the pandemic. The WHO chief warned that before the arrival of the Delta variant, data showed that the vaccines reduced transmission by roughly 60%. He added that with the highly contagious variant, the reduced transmissibility dropped to 40%.
The Delta variant has become the dominant strain of the coronavirus and has spread to various nations worldwide. Ghebreyesus recommended that even fully vaccinated people should take precautions to avoid getting infected and spreading the virus to other people who could be vulnerable to the infection, Aljazeera reported.
The situation comes after Ghebreyesus called Europe the newest epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic with its surging cases. He noted that the region's healthcare systems and personnel were facing "unsustainable pressure."
During the week that ended on Nov. 21, Europe accounted for roughly 67% of the world's total new coronavirus cases that totaled more than 2.4 million infections. Based on the WHO's most recent weekly epidemiological update, the data showed an 11% increase from the previous week.
On Tuesday, the WHO agency's office that covered Europe and Central Asia said that the regions have a combined total of more than 1.5 million coronavirus deaths. They warned they could experience 700,000 more victims by March 2022 with how the trend is going. Over the next four months, the global agency anticipates that the majority of intensive care units in the region could experience high or extreme stress, CNBC reported.
Epicenter of the Coronavirus Pandemic
Ghebreyesus's warning comes as the United Kingdom has started to increase its distribution of booster shots to curb the spread of the virus. Government figures showed that officials had delivered a total of 50,827,554 first doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
The numbers showed an increase of 26,822 compared to the previous day, and it also included that roughly 46,208,819 second doses have been delivered, rising by 22,002. Authorities have also delivered a combined total of 16,004,629 booster shots and third doses, a day-on-day rise of 365,152.
Officials said that the region's vaccination program had lost its momentum, expressing warnings that the UK would most likely not be able to meet its vaccination rate goal by Christmas. Labour shadow health minister Alex Norris said that the number of people being vaccinated per day was not enough to reach the target of half a million.
In a statement, health secretary Sajid Javid argued that the UK's booster rollout was the "most successful" in Europe. The statements came as infection rates across several parts of the region broke records on Wednesday, Yahoo News reported.