WHO: Europe-approved vaccines effective against coronavirus variants

Copenhagen, May 20 (EFE).- The Covid-19 vaccines currently approved for use in Europe are effective against all four coronavirus variants of concern circulating the region, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

Hans Kluge, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, urged the public not to let advances in Europe’s vaccine program fuel complacency and urged a rethink on the resumption of international travel.

“Vaccines may be a light at the end of the tunnel, but we cannot be blinded by that light,” he said.

He added that there were four coronavirus variants of concern currently circulating through WHO Europe member states, those being the variants originally identified in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil and, most recently, the Indian subcontinent.

“For the time-being, we can say that all the four risk variants do respond to the vaccines made available as of today,” he told a virtual press conference.

He said the Indian variant of the virus has been detected in 26 out of the 53 member states and that most cases were thought to have originated via international travel.

Kluge said the best way to counteract the spread of coronavirus variants was to speed up the vaccination rollout and to continue to abide by health measures such as mask use, hand washing, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings. EFE


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