Will COVID-19 vaccines stop the pandemic?

Will COVID-19 vaccines stop the pandemic? 

It is likely that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, will continue to circulate and evolve. It is not possible to predict how infectious or severe new variants of the virus will be. It is therefore very important to achieve and maintain high vaccination coverage across all communities and population groups, at national and international levels. Vaccination remains a key component of the multi-layered approach needed to reduce the impact of SARS-CoV-2.

What is the “Stop The Spread” campaign? 

“Stop The Spread” is a global campaign which aims to raise awareness about the risks of misinformation around COVID-19, and encourages them to double check information with trusted sources such as WHO and national health authorities.

WHO are promoting this campaign in many countries spanning across Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East and Latin America. The campaign is in support of WHO’s work towards addressing the infodemic of false information about COVID-19 and busting myths about the spread, diagnostic and treatment of the disease.

Can COVID-19 be transmitted through food? There is currently no evidence that people can catch COVID-19 from food. The virus that causes COVID-19 can be killed at temperatures similar to that of other known viruses and bacteria found in food.

Is COVID-19 vaccination still necessary, even after getting infected with the virus and recovering? 

Evidence is growing that vaccination after infection strengthens protection and further reduces the risk of reinfection. Therefore, COVID-19 vaccination is generally recommended for the eligible population, including those who have recovered from the disease.

Will COVID-19 vaccines stop the pandemic? – Additional Questions

How do we achieve herd immunity against COVID-19?

To safely achieve herd immunity against COVID-19, a substantial proportion of a population would need to be vaccinated, lowering the overall amount of virus able to spread in the whole population.

Can the coronavirus survive on surfaces?

It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems likely to behave like other coronaviruses. A recent review of the survival of human coronaviruses on surfaces found large variability, ranging from 2 hours to 9 days (11).

The survival time depends on a number of factors, including the type of surface, temperature, relative humidity and specific strain of the virus.

Do vaccinated individuals still need to apply personal protective measures during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Vaccinated individuals should continue to follow public health measures, as per national recommendations. People who are vaccinated can still get infected and infect others, though this occurs much less often than in people who are unvaccinated.

Who are at higher risk of developing serious illness from COVID-19?

Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Why is healthy eating important for the immune system, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic?

While no foods or dietary supplements can prevent or cure COVID-19 infection, healthy diets are important for supporting immune systems. Good nutrition can also reduce the likelihood of developing other health problems, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer.

Are COVID-19 vaccines effective?

COVID-19 vaccines authorised for use in the EU/EEA have been very effective at preventing severe disease, hospitalisation and death.

In general, benefits of COVID-19 vaccines may include:

  • preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection in vaccinated individuals
  • reducing disease severity, if vaccinated individuals are infected
  • preventing death in vaccinated individuals
  • reducing the number of people infected in populations with adequate vaccine uptake
  • reducing virus transmission in populations with adequate vaccine uptake.

Can masks prevent the transmission of COVID-19?

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Masks should be used as part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress transmission and save lives; the use of a mask alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection against COVID-19.

If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, stay safe by taking some simple precautions, such as physical distancing, wearing a mask, keeping rooms well ventilated, avoiding crowds, cleaning your hands, and coughing into a bent elbow or tissue. Check local advice where you live and work. Do it all!
Make wearing a mask a normal part of being around other people. The appropriate use, storage and cleaning or disposal of masks are essential to make them as effective as possible.

Can COVID-19 vaccines protect people against the SARS-CoV-2 virus when it has mutated?

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Vaccines against some viral diseases remain effective for many years and provide long-lasting protection. Others, such as the flu vaccine, need to be regularly updated to remain effective. This is because viruses constantly mutate when they circulate among people.

Many SARS-CoV-2 mutations have no impact on vaccine effectiveness, but some are of concern due to a possible reduction in how well the existing vaccines will work. Scientists around the world are carefully monitoring mutations of SARS-CoV-2 virus to assess how well the currently available COVID-19 vaccines can protect people against them, and vaccine producers are exploring ways to update vaccines as necessary to improve protection as new variants are detected.

Even with some COVID-19 vaccines’ reduced effectiveness against some of the new variants, COVID-19 vaccines are expected to offer some protection from severe forms of the disease.

Do smokers suffer from worse COVID-19 symptoms?

Early research indicates that, compared to non-smokers, having a history of smoking may substantially increase the chance of adverse health outcomes for COVID-19 patients, including being admitted to intensive care, requiring mechanical ventilation and suffering severe health consequences.

How could smoking affect COVID-19?

COVID-19 is an infectious disease that primarily attacks the lungs. Smoking impairs lung function making it harder for the body to fight off coronaviruses and other diseases.

What does the WHO recommend for tobacco users during the COVID-19 pandemic?

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Given the risks to health that tobacco use causes, WHO recommends quitting tobacco use. Quitting will help your lungs and heart to work better from the moment you stop. Within 20 minutes of quitting, elevated heart rate and blood pressure drop. After 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in the bloodstream drops to normal. Within 2-12 weeks, circulation improves and lung function increases. After 1-9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease. Quitting will help to protect your loved ones, especially children, from exposure to second-hand smoke.

WHO recommends the use of proven interventions such as toll-free quit lines, mobile text-messaging cessation programmes, and nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs), among others, for quitting tobacco use.

What is a healthy diet during the COVID-19 pandemic?

• Every day, eat a mix of wholegrains like wheat, maize and rice, legumes like lentils and beans, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables , with some foods from animal sources (e.g. meat, fish, eggs and milk).

• Choose wholegrain foods like unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat and brown rice when you can; they are rich in valuable fibre and can help you feel full for longer.

• For snacks, choose raw vegetables, fresh fruit, and unsalted nuts.

How to eat healthy in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic?

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Consume enough fibre because it contributes to a healthy digestive system and offers a prolonged feeling of fullness, which helps prevent overeating.

To ensure an adequate fibre intake, aim to include vegetables, fruit, pulses and wholegrain foods in all meals. Whole grain foods include oats, brown pasta and rice, quinoa and whole-wheat bread and wraps, rather than refined grain foods such as white pasta and rice, and white bread.

Good hydration is crucial for optimal health. Whenever available and safe for consumption, tap water is the healthiest and cheapest drink. It is also the most sustainable, as it produces no waste, compared to bottled water.

Can people in quarantine eat fried foods?

WHO recommends limiting total fat intake to less than 30% of total energy intake, of which no more than 10% should come from saturated fat. To achieve this, opt for cooking methods that require less or no fat, such as steaming, grilling or sautéing instead of frying foods.

If needed, use small amounts of unsaturated oils like rapeseed, olive or sunflower oil to cook foods. Prefer foods that contain healthy sources of unsaturated fats, such as fish and nuts.

What can I do to prevent COVID-19 during grocery shopping?

• Clean your hands with sanitizer before entering the store.
• Cover a cough or sneeze in your bent elbow or tissue.
• Maintain at least a 1-metre distance from others, and if you can’t maintain this distance, wear a
mask (many stores now require a mask).
• Once home, wash your hands thoroughly and also after handling and storing your purchased
products.

How can I protect myself and others when using disinfectants?

Disinfectant solutions should always be prepared in well-ventilated areas. Wash your hands after using any disinfectant, including surface wipes. Keep lids tightly closed when not in use. Spills and accidents are more likely to happen when containers are open. Do not allow children to use disinfectant wipes. Keep cleaning fluids and disinfectants out of the reach of children and pets.
Throw away disposable items like gloves and masks if they are used during cleaning. Do not clean and re-use.
Do not use disinfectant wipes to clean hands or as baby wipes.

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