Pan American Health Organization – (PAHO) Director Dr Carissa Etienne urged the individuals to caution against COVID by getting immunized as well as abiding by the health protocols and guidelines.
During a virtual media briefing on Wednesday, Dr Etienne highlighted the current situation of the European nations, noting it is the region with high vaccination coverage but still is witnessing a massive increase in daily COVID infection rate and deaths.
“As end of year celebrations approach, get vaccinated, keep gatherings small and ensure mask-wearing and social distancing, especially indoors. Throughout this pandemic, Europe has been a window into the future for the Americas”.
She further noted that relaxations in measures and unvaccinated populations are the reasons behind this higher infection rate.
Following the statement, she cited besides the European region; infections are also rising in the Americas and Caribbean region.
“Every time we lower our guard, the virus gains momentum and threatens our hard-fought gains”.
More than half of people in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean are now fully inoculated against COVID -19, while 19 nations have yet to reach the WHO target of 40 percent COVID vaccination coverage by the end of this year.
Dr Etienne highlighted that last years’ festive season; the Americas region witnessed a spike in COVID-19 cases that almost took months to decline, adding, “our individual and collective decisions chart the path of this pandemic“.
“We’ve already faced the consequences of an uncontrolled pandemic, and we don’t want to be in that position again. It is up to all of us – to make smart and safe choices this holiday season so we can protect ourselves & each other from this virus,” she further added to her statement.
At last, she emphasized the importance to follow the COVID-19 health protocols, urging the public to follow these guidelines and get themselves vaccinated.