Vaccines won’t end the pandemic – WHO’s European director warns

FILE PHOTO: A patient wearing a protective face mask is helped by medical personnel inside the Spedali Civili hospital in Brescia, Italy March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo/

The World Health Organization expects Europe to see a rise in the daily number of Covid-19 deaths in October and November, the head of the body’s European branch has told AFP.

“It’s going to get tougher. In October, November, we are going to see more mortality,” WHO Europe director Hans Kluge said, as the continent currently experiences a surge of cases though the number of deaths has remained relatively stable.

The resurgence is however expected to lead to an increase in daily deaths, the WHO said.

“It’s a moment where countries don’t want to hear this bad news, and I understand,” Kluge said stressing that he wanted to send the “positive message” that the pandemic “is going to finish, at one moment or another.”

The WHO Europe’s 55 member states are holding an online meeting on Monday and Tuesday to discuss their response to the new coronavirus and agree on their overall five-year strategy.

However Kluge, based in Copenhagen, cautioned against those who believe that the development of a vaccine will bring an end to the pandemic. He said “I hear the whole time: ‘the vaccine is going to be the end of the pandemic’. Of course not!We don’t even know if the vaccine is going to help all population groups. “