Senior WHO Expert Believes Pandemic Can End in 2022

© REUTERS / Denis BalibouseA logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting on update on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, April 6, 2021
A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting on update on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, April 6, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.12.2021
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The global community has the means to fully overcome the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022, Maria Van Kerkhove, the COVID-19 technical lead at World Health Organization (WHO), said on Wednesday.
"2022 is the year we can end the COVID-19 pandemic. We have tools now. We can take the death out of COVID-19," Van Kerkhove said during a live WHO Q&A stream.
In October, the WHO launched its Strategy to Achieve Global Covid-19 Vaccination by mid-2022, in which it outlined actions it believes will achieve 70% global immunization by the middle of next year.
On Tuesday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing that evolving evidence suggests an efficacy decline of vaccines amid the spread of the Omicron strain. Some vaccine producers have already announced new trials to match the formulas to the virus' evolution.
The Omicron strain was first identified in South Africa in late November. Last week, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said that Omicron accounts for most of the new COVID-19 cases in the majority of South African provinces. On Sunday, Ramaphosa tested positive for the coronavirus despite being fully vaccinated. The new variant has been detected in 77 countries to date.
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