WHO director on pandemic: No country is 'out of the woods' yet

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COVID-19 cases and deaths have fallen globally over the past three weeks, but the world remains in a fragile situation, according to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, director-general of the World Health Organization.

"No country should assume it is out of the woods, no matter its vaccination rate," he said May 25 during opening remarks at the World Health Assembly. 

Dr. Tedros said the pandemic is not over — and will not be over — until virus transmission is controlled in every county. That's because the longer the virus spreads uncontrolled, the more opportunity there is for new variants to emerge.

"So far, no variants have emerged that significantly undermine the efficacy of vaccines, diagnostics or therapeutics," Dr. Tedros said. "But there is no guarantee that will remain the case."

He called for more equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to mitigate this threat, noting that 10 countries have administered more than 75 percent of all COVID-19 vaccines. 

"There is no diplomatic way to say it: A small group of countries that make and buy the majority of the world's vaccines control the fate of the rest of the world," he said.

To view the full speech, click here.

 

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