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World Health Organization Scientists Say Vaccine Won't Eradicate Covid-19

World Health Organization Scientists Say Vaccine Won't Eradicate Covid-19

People might still have to quarantine when travelling overseas even if they've been vaccinated.

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie

Scientists from the World Health Organization believe the vaccines for the coronavirus won't be the silver bullet to end the pandemic.

Despite some of the vaccines being up to 95 per cent effective in stopping Covid-19 from replicating in a person's body, experts are worried it won't stop someone from being a host and passing it on.

There is also a concern that people won't be allowed to partake in international travel without quarantine even if they have been vaccinated.

WHO's chief scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan told a virtual press conference that people need to stop believing the vaccine alone will be their ticket to freedom.

PA

"I don't believe we have the evidence on any of the vaccines to be confident that it's going to prevent people from actually getting the infection and therefore being able to pass it on," she said.

"We need to assume that people who have been vaccinated also need to take the same precautions till there's a certain level of herd immunity. This is a dynamic in an evolving field."

That was backed up by Dr Mike Ryan, director of WHO's Health Emergencies, who reckons we could still be a while away from eliminating the coronavirus.

"The existence of a vaccine, even at a high efficacy, there's no guarantee of eliminating or eradicating an infectious disease, that is a very high bar for us to be able to get over," he said.

Until then, governments around the world are encouraging as many people as possible to get the jab when it becomes available.

Citizens in the UK and US have already begun to be vaccinated against the coronavirus and Australians have been told the rollout is ahead of schedule.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says despite everything being in front of expectations, we're still looking at a March 2021 date until the first batch of people get the jab.

PA

He's taking an 'under promise, over deliver' approach to the vaccine rollout.

Mr Hunt said: "The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is progressing well both in terms of results and in terms of its passage through the UK, US and European processes.

"They [AstraZeneca/Oxford University] have submitted additional data within Australia and we're expecting the final data for consideration in late January to February."

"I would put it this way, the advice from AstraZeneca is of great hope for Australians, and the advice from the regulators is of great hope, regarding both the early vaccines, Pfizer and AstraZeneca.

"In short, I think it will be a good new year for Australians."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Australia