The arrival of COVID-19 vaccines should not tempt countries to relax efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic, top World Health Organization officials said on Friday, citing concern that Brazil’s epidemic could spread to other countries.“We think we’re through this. We’re not,” Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergency expert, told an online briefing. “Countries are going to lurch back into third and fourth surges if we’re not careful.”
“Now is not the time for Brazil or anywhere else for that matter to be relaxing,” Ryan added. “The arrival of vaccines is a moment of great hope but it is also potentially a moment where we lose concentration.”
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the epidemic in Brazil as “very, very concerning” and warned of a possible regional spillover.
“If Brazil is not serious, then it will continue to affect all the neighborhood there and beyond,” he said.