A World Health Organization (WHO) official suggested that mass vaccination might be required to combat mosquito-borne illnesses as the infected insects migrate to new countries due to climate change.
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead for COVID-19, made the comments at a recent press conference.
“A lot of this is also about other uses of tools that exist,” she said, “in instances where we have interventions like medical interventions, therapeutics or vaccines depending on the pathogen.”
“We need to be able to prepare for that.”
Sitting next to the WHO’s Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Van Kerkhove further said that countries need to “look at how the changes in climate change and the dynamics of spillover and amplification are changing — and prepare for that.”
As for Ghebreyesus, he said that COVID-19 is no longer an emergency but its risk is still high. He also whined that many countries are no longer reporting their COVID data to the WHO.
In the past month, he said only 25% of countries and territories have reported COVID-19 deaths to the WHO – a decline from previous reporting percentages.
“And only 11% have reported hospitalizations and ICU admissions,” he said.
“This doesn’t mean other countries don’t have deaths or hospitalizations — it means they’re not reporting them to WHO.”
Ghebreyesus asked for countries to start reporting data to his organization again.
“The virus continues to circulate in all countries, continues to kill, and it continues to change,” he warned.
In June, the WHO partnered with the European Union to create a globalized digital vaccine passport system for future pandemics.
At the time, Ghebreyesus said climate change, deforestation and urbanization will worsen future pandemics unless countries take “concerted and coordinated action as one global community.”