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WHO emergency committee warns pandemic is ‘not over yet’

GENEVA – The COVID-19 epidemic is “not over yet”. That’s what the World Health Organization’s emergency committee alerted on Tuesday, when it asked countries to recognize all vaccines approved by the agency.

This committee meets every three months to assess the situation.

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After the committee’s last meeting – which meets every three months to assess the entire situation – last week, a statement was published that said: “Although progress has been made thanks to the increased use of vaccines and their treatments, analysis of the current situation and prediction models indicate that the epidemic is not yet over.”

The committee also noted that it had “unanimously determined that the epidemic is an extraordinary event that continues to harm the health of populations around the world, poses a risk of international spread and disrupts international traffic, and requires a coordinated international response.”

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In its recommendations to governments, the committee continues to oppose the principle of a vaccine passport for international travel, due to the uneven distribution of immunizations around the world. In addition, the WHO also requires countries to “recognize vaccines that have obtained authorization for emergency use” from the organization.

So far, the World Health Organization has approved two messenger RNA vaccines (Modern and Pfizer/BioNTech), two immunogenic with inactivated Chinese virus, from Sinopharm and SinoVac, one from Johnson & Johnson and several versions of Astrazeneca.

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