By John Ikani
The global pandemic should come to an end next year, according to officials at the World Health Organization (WHO).
The expression of optimism comes as the UN agency marked two years since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak.
It however notes that exiting the crisis will partly depend on whether the world can adhere to a global “New Year’s resolution” of vaccinating 70 per cent of every country’s population by the start of July.
“2022 must be the end of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, speaking Wednesday at the organization’s last planned briefing of the year on the coronavirus.
Tedros said he believed the pandemic will end next year because, two years into the situation, “we know the virus very well and we have all the tools [to fight it].”
He said WHO projections show that vaccine supplies should be sufficient to vaccinate the entire global adult population and to give boosters to high-risk populations by the first quarter of 2022.
The big issues to overcome were “implementing all the tools effectively” and notably, “taking care of equity.”
“Unless we vaccinated the whole world, I don’t think we can end this pandemic,” he concluded.
“My concern is whether we have the stamina to end it,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead COVID-19, at the WHO Health Emergencies Program, adding: “I believe we can.”