No reason for alarm but for attention – Dr. Carissa Etienne

PAHO Director, Dr. Carissa Etienne (Photo via PAHO)

(Pan American Health Organization) Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Carissa F. Etienne said the COVID-19 vaccines soon to be available from COVAX in the Americas are still recommended for the region, despite new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the disease.

“Based on the evidence we have now on the variants of concern, we are confident that our growing portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines remains useful and will guide us through the end of this pandemic,” Dr. Etienne said during her weekly press briefing.

“We have at our hands a whole generation of effective vaccines to prevent infection and, especially, severe disease,” she continued. “Down the line, we may need to adapt our strategies, but we will continue to rely on these vaccines. The challenge now remains to ensure these vaccines are distributed quickly and fairly across our region, starting with those who need them most.”

So far, 20 countries in the region have at least one of three variants of concern circulating in the Americas. Dr. Etienne said evidence suggests that two of the variants – B117 first detected in the United Kingdom and P.1 first detected in Brazil – may be more easily transmissible.

Read more at: Pan American Health Organisation

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