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A WHO expert sets a date when the pandemic will be controlled

A young man is vaccinated at the vaccination center that has been set up at the University of Girona, this Tuesday. (Photo: . / David Borrat)

The director of the Department of Public Health and Environment of the World Health Organization (WHO), María Neira, considers that if vaccination progresses as it has up to now, the coronavirus pandemic could be controlled in March 2022.

In statements to the RAC1 station, the Asturian endocrinologist has recognized that the end of the pandemic “is increasingly notable”, but has recalled that it is necessary to take advantage to change the current life model so as not to make the same mistakes.

“Two years is a period that we set ourselves and it will surely be a reasonable time. If we begin to vaccinate at the speed that we have gone so far, we could see the way out of this tremendous situation even earlier, ”said the Spanish doctor.

Neira believes that “the end is beginning to be more and more present, but when we come out of the pandemic we must take advantage to be better and not forget these lessons.”

“We must also take advantage of this normality to improve living conditions. We should review a little our ways of consumption, production and lifestyle so that our health is much more protected, “said the head of Public Health of the WHO.

The third dose of the vaccine

Asked about the need to inoculate a third dose of the vaccine, Neira said: “We have asked for a kind of moratorium, to wait, at least, until next year, until we have more information and evidence and until 40% of the world population can have a first dose. For us, the third dose, for now, can be postponed ”.

“This does not mean”, he clarified, “that if the virus is endemic in the future there would be some vulnerable groups to which it could be put, but for now we postpone the third dose until it is more equitable. It is a strategy of collective protection ”.

Regarding the vaccination of children under 12 years of age, he said that at the moment he does not see it necessary and that, with the return to school, it will be possible to assess whether this age group really poses a risk of contagion or not.

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Regarding the opening of nightlife, as Madrid will do from Monday, Neira did not want to comment, although she has not opposed “as long as certain measures are followed.”

“I would focus on prevention measures that we know work. Vaccination first. There will be many vaccinated people among the attendees. Then ventilation, because indoors is where there is the greatest risk of transmission, and then distance measurements ”.

This article originally appeared on The HuffPost and has been updated.

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