Combo of vaccine and public health measures only way to beat COVID - WHO Africa

The World Health Organization (WHO)'s African regional immunisation advisory group chair, Helen Rees, said that the only way to curb the spread of COVID-19 was a combination of vaccination and public health measures.

A vaccinator preparing the COVID-19 vaccine. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - The World Health Organization (WHO)'s African regional immunisation advisory group chair, Helen Rees, said that the only way to curb the spread of COVID-19 was a combination of vaccination and public health measures.

Sweden was one of the countries that took a different approach to deal with the pandemic. It relied on relatively more relaxed measures and didn't go into a lockdown from the beginning. As a result, it had one of the highest death rates in relation to population size in Europe.

Rees said that the delta variant was beating every single country in the world at the moment, even New Zealand as an island and it was having to accept that they had to change their strategy. She said that this was just another confirmation that vaccines were absolutely critical to end the pandemic.

“Vaccines are our most effective tool against infectious diseases and preventing them, and particularly in a pandemic. It is our most powerful tool. Without that, we will not be able to get back to normal and tackle things like our unemployment. We will be in and out of lockdown. People will not be able to carry out normal functions. We have to get the vaccination rate up, but we have to reassure people about things like safety,” she said.

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