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WHO: We will not achieve group immunity in 2021

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In the hope of stemming the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, vaccination campaigns are increasing around the world, and the European Union could receive the green light for a third vaccine at the end of January, all efforts that should, however, not guarantee collective immunity in 2021 according to the WHO.

Unknown a year ago, the Covid-19 since killed at least 1,945,437 worldwide, according to the latest report established by AFP. In recent weeks, vaccination campaigns have been accelerating everywhere. “We are not going to achieve (…) collective immunity in 2021”, however, warned the World Health Organization.

The deployment of vaccines, when it comes to billions of doses, “takes time,” explained its chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, urging “to show a little patience.”

More than 620,000 dead in Europe

On Tuesday, the European Medicines Agency announced that it had received an authorization request for the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine. It intends to proceed with an expedited review, with a decision possibly rendered on January 29, if the data communicated is sufficiently “robust and complete.” “Good news,” said Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, when the virus has already killed more than 620,000 people across the Old Continent. The vaccines from Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna are already authorized in the EU.

In the United Kingdom, the most bereaved country in Europe with nearly 82,000 dead, the British authorities are struggling to curb the spread of the – more contagious – variant of the virus, with tens of thousands of infections every day. “We are at a very, very perilous stage” in the pandemic, alerted Kit Malthouse, the Secretary of State for Public Security. “A small minority of people do not respect the rules, and it costs lives,” he lamented, warning that tightening of restrictions was being considered.

Russia has also decided to extend the suspension of its air links with the United Kingdom, two days after discovering the new variant of Covid-19 in a Russian patient returning from this country. Japan is seeking to isolate a variant of the coronavirus recently detected in four people who arrived in the archipelago from Brazil to analyze it further.

“The more the coronavirus spreads, the more likely it is that it will still evolve.”

“The more the coronavirus spreads, the more likely it is that it will develop further (…). The transmissibility of some variants of the virus seems to be increasing, ”noted WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday. However, all the mutations of a virus are not necessarily more contagious or dangerous. In Malaysia, Sultan Abdullah Shah declared a state of national emergency to deal with “a very critical stage” of the epidemic. In Lebanon, the response to the pandemic is even more radical: total curfew for eleven days, from Thursday, during which it will be forbidden to go out, even to do his food shopping or walk his dog.

India plans to start immunizing 300 million people out of a population of 1.3 billion from Saturday until July. In the United States, where nearly 376,000 people have died from the coronavirus, President-elect Joe Biden received the second dose of Pfizer / BioNTech’s vaccine live on television on Monday.

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