“All the variants of the virus that produces COVID-19 and have emerged so far respond to the approved vaccines that are available”, said Hans Henri Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, during a press conference.
The main vaccines currently being used in Europe are those produced by Moderna, Pfizer, Astra-Zeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. This statement comes in the middle of the campaign that Europe is carrying out to immunize its population. Also, before the emergence of the so-called “Indian variant” of the virus which has caused great concern in several countries.
The variant of Coronavirus that puts United Kingdom reopening plans at risk
In that sense, Kluge also pointed out that health authorities must remain vigilant in the face of the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the region caused by the Indian variant. But he stressed that vaccination and infection control measures would help prevent its spread.
In Europe, 4 variants have been detected that the WHO has called “of interest” “worrying”. The dominant variant is the one that emerged in the United Kingdom, but the India variant has been registered in 26 countries of the 53 that make up the WHO European region.
Vaccine in India
The Indian variant of the virus was listed as “worrisome”. “We are still learning about the new variant, but it can spread quickly”, said the agency representative. And he added that, in theory, it could spread fast enough to displace the British variant.
“Let’s not lower our guard”
Kluge was also emphatic that, despite the efforts being made in many countries to vaccinate their inhabitants, biosafety protocols cannot be neglected. “The Pandemic is still a persistent threat that brings new threats,” said the official. “Vaccines may be the light at the end of the tunnel, but we cannot be blinded by that light”, he added.
In the European Union, a third of the population has received at least 1 dose of the available vaccines and just over 13% of it is fully vaccinated. For this reason, the WHO also issued a series of recommendations, among which is to avoiding non-essential international travel.
“We are going in the right direction, but we must be vigilant. In several countries there are sources of growing transmission that could rapidly evolve into dangerous outbreaks”, he said.