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Lancet COVID-19 Commission Taskforce on Public Health -- "No one is truly safe from COVID-19 until everyone is safe!"

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New COVID variants have changed the game, and vaccines will not be enough. We need global ‘maximum suppression’

At the end of 2020, there was a strong hope that high levels of vaccination would see humanity finally gain the upper hand over SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In an ideal scenario, the virus would then be contained at very low levels without further societal disruption or significant numbers of deaths.

But since then, new “variants of concern” have emerged and spread worldwide, putting current pandemic control efforts, including vaccination, at risk of being derailed.

Put simply, the game has changed, and a successful global rollout of current vaccines by itself is no longer a guarantee of victory.

No one is truly safe from COVID-19 until everyone is safe. We are in a race against time to get global transmission rates low enough to prevent the emergence and spread of new variants. The danger is that variants will arise that can overcome the immunity conferred by vaccinations or prior infection.

Now, a liberal, institutional website like The Conversation is not going to touch the third rail and examine reasons why in our era of great science and technology, there is such an unequal distribution of vaccines, antiviral drugs and even PPE supplies to poor countries in the world revealed by this new global pandemic. And of course, neither is any corporate or state-sponsored news organ in the west! 

They won't mention that US policy from the beginning has been to maintain and even ratchet up sanctions against their disfavored nations like Yemen, Venezuela and Iran. The WHO has called such policies 'genocide'  war against defenseless civilian populations....but that part of the WHO addresses is omitted from NY Times and other coverage. 

And when it  comes to distribution of vaccines, the US (and allies) have been trying to stop nations in their trading zone to not buy cheaper Russian and Chinese vaccines or face trade retribution!  

The message should have been from the start that vaccines only work if widely available and used, and in an age of global trade and migrations, the genie cannot be kept in the bottle for long if the new variant viruses are allowed to fester in large populations by design or by neglect...same thing!  

Back to the article:

As members of the Lancet COVID-19 Commission Taskforce on Public Health, we call for urgent action in response to the new variants. These new variants mean we cannot rely on the vaccines alone to provide protection but must maintain strong public health measures to reduce the risk from these variants. At the same time, we need to accelerate the vaccine program in all countries in an equitable way.

Together, these strategies will deliver “maximum suppression” of the virus.

What are ‘variants of concern’?

Genetic mutations of viruses like SARS-CoV-2 emerge frequently, but some variants are labelled “variants of concern”, because they can reinfect people who have had a previous infection or vaccination, or are more transmissible or can lead to more severe disease.



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