WHO officials expect other dangerous variants to also emerge as countries struggle to distribute the life-saving vaccines to their populations.
“They become more fit the more that they circulate and so the virus will likely become more transmissible because this is what viruses do they evolve, they change over time,” Van Kerkhove said.
She said it’s imperative that nations follow public health measures, like practicing social distancing and wearing masks, while nations distribute more vaccines around the world, especially in those with the lowest rates of immunization.
We need “about 70% coverage globally, to really slow down the transmission and reduce the risk of emergence of new variants,” according to Dr. Bruce Aylward, senior advisor to the director-general at WHO.
Still, with current trends, health experts are not optimistic. “This will not be the last virus variant that you hear us talking about,” Van Kerkhove said.