Saturday, May 28

The pandemic remains an international public health emergency, according to the WHO

The Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has determined that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to constitute a public health emergency of international concern.

This has been established by Tedros after the tenth meeting of the Emergency Committee of the International Health Regulations on the COVID-19 pandemic, which met last Thursday, January 13, in Geneva (Switzerland).

The Committee has unanimously agreed that the COVID-19 pandemic “remains an extraordinary event that continues to negatively affect the health of populations around the world, poses a risk of international spread and interference with international traffic, and requires a coordinated international response.

The Committee has agreed with Tedros that the COVID-19 pandemic remains a public health emergency of international importance, and has warned about “the risk of overly optimistic statements about the state of the pandemic”.

intranasal vaccines

This group of experts, which will meet again in a maximum period of three months, It has also claimed the importance of “accelerating research and development of new vaccination technologies.”

“Current vaccination technology relies on syringes that are in limited supply, posing a significant logistical and programmatic burden. The rapid development of alternative vaccine formulations, such as intranasals, could increase the ease of administration in low-income and/or hard-to-reach areas. In addition, the need to continue working on vaccines that confer broader immunity in all variants is evident,” the Committee concluded.

In the same way, these experts have also defended carrying out epidemiological investigations on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 between humans and animals, as well as specific surveillance of potential animal hosts and reservoirs.

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“Real-time monitoring and sharing of data on infection, transmission and evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in animals will contribute to the global understanding of the epidemiology and ecology of the virus, the possible evolution of new variants in animal populations, its timely identification and the evaluation of its risks to public health”, they justify .

They have also urged “lift or ease prohibitions on international traffic, since they do not provide any added value and continue to contribute to the economic and social stress suffered by States”.

“The failure of travel restrictions introduced after the detection and notification of the omicron variant to limit its international spread demonstrates the ineffectiveness of such measures over time. Travel measures (for example, the use of a mask, diagnostic tests, isolation / quarantine and vaccination) should be based on risk assessments and avoid the financial burden falling on travelers, “they add in this regard.

“Deep Concern”

The Committee has also expressed “deep concern” that some countries that are not eligible COVAX mechanism “are experiencing difficulties in affording COVID-19 vaccines.”

In addition, they have denounced the problems posed by the “high prices” of certain treatments, the “lack of equity in access and the limited availability of data on the cost-effectiveness of these treatments”.

For this reason, they have urged the WHO to “continue to work with the pharmaceutical sector to address barriers to access and affordability, expanding tiered prices, voluntary licensing agreements and other approaches to increase access to vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tests for all countries.”

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