Selin ATAY-TDO-  WHO said that herd immunity to the coronavirus will not be achieved this year despite widespread vaccination campaigns. Until then, preventive measures such as masks will be necessary, WHO added.

World Health Organization (WHO) chief scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said Monday that herd immunity to the coronavirus would not be achieved in 2021, despite the growing availability of Covid-19 vaccines. "We are not going to achieve any levels of population immunity or herd immunity in 2021," WHO's top scientist told a briefing, while emphasizing that measures such as physical distancing, handwashing and wearing masks continue to be necessary in containing Covid-19’s spread for the rest of the year.

Dr. Soumya Swaminathan called on people to be "a little patient," saying the rollout of vaccines "does take time," as the scale of dose production is in the billions. "The vaccines are going to come," Dr. Swaminathan said. "They are going to go to all countries ... but meanwhile we mustn't forget that there are measures that work," Dr. Swaminathan added, referring to hygiene and social distancing.

In her speech, Dr Swaminathan stressed that the implementation of Covid-19 measures should continue until at least the end of 2021. "It should not be forgotten that there are measures that work, " WHO's top scientist said. “It is very important to remind communities and governments that they must implement responsibilities and measures at least until the end of this year," she added.

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