Vaccines alone won’t end the Covid pandemic, says New Zealand former prime minister

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  • Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said at the virtual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit, a “vaccine only” strategy will not end the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Clark said the “very uneven” rollout of COVID vaccines is partly responsible for prolonging the pandemic.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that one of the biggest challenges facing her in managing the Covid outbreak was consistently responding to spikes in cases.

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Covid-19 is still spreading globally and a “vaccine-only” strategy will not end the pandemic, former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clarke said on Thursday.

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The World Health Organization gave the same warning last year, when the world was just a few months into the Covid pandemic.

Globally, the number of daily reported Covid cases and deaths has seen a fresh rise in the past month, data compiled by Johns Hopkins University showed. It also comes as more people are receiving vaccinations and booster shots in some countries.

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“What will I say to the countries … [that] have been successful with the vaccine rollout: this alone won’t do it,” Clarke said in virtual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit,

“You should be able to test, roll back or maintain public health measures relevant to the pandemic and your country’s epidemiological situation at that time,” she said.

In a separate session at the APEC CEO Summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said one of the biggest challenges she faced in managing the COVID outbreak was consistently responding to spikes in cases.

Unfortunately, Germany is now in the middle of the fourth wave. We are registering a huge increase in numbers. People may believe that this is a thing of the past, but we have to understand that it is not over.
Angela Merkel
german chancellor

“So once you see that cases are increasing dramatically, you have to intervene immediately,” said Merkel, who is preparing to leave office after 16 years. Germany’s top job.

He warned that the COVID-19 pandemic was not over yet as Germany once again experienced a resurgence in cases.

“Unfortunately, Germany is now in the middle of a fourth wave. We are registering a high growth in numbers. People may assume that this is a thing of the past, but we have to understand that it is not over,” Merkel said on Friday. Is.”

lay out delta

Apart from Germany, Singapore has also seen an increase in daily reported cases, even as vaccine rollouts accelerated.

The Southeast Asian city-state has one of the highest vaccination rates globally, with approximately 85% of its population Fully immunized, according to health ministry data. But the country has had to adjust social-distancing measures several times due to the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.

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Meanwhile, infections and deaths rose in the UK after the government lifted Covid restrictions when a “reasonable” vaccination rate was reached, Clarke said. About 80% of people aged 12 and over in the UK Official data shows that two doses of the vaccine have been received.

“It’s very difficult to keep Delta out. Everyone is struggling with it,” Clarke said.

‘Very uneven’ vaccine rollout

Clark said the “very uneven” rollout of COVID vaccines is partly responsible for prolonging the pandemic.

“We’re not really going to be safe in New Zealand, or Canada, or China, or anywhere, unless everyone in the world has the opportunity to have access to vaccines and therapeutics and so on,” she said.

WHO and other health experts, including renowned epidemiologist Larry Brilliant, have made similar remarks in the past.

Clarke co-chaired an independent panel set up by the WHO to review the world’s pandemic preparedness and response.

In its final report published in May, the panel recommended that high-income countries redistribute at least one billion doses of COVID vaccines to 92 low- and middle-income countries by September 1, and one billion doses by mid-2222. Do it.

analytics firm Airfinity said in an October 20 report That only 350 million doses have been delivered.

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