The COVID-19 vaccine may provide some people a false sense of security, according to the World Health Organization.

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The COVID-19 vaccine may provide some people a false sense of security, according to the World Health Organization.

After getting fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the World Health Organization’s chief admonished the public not to have a “false sense of security,” and urged people to maintain using safety measures such as masks and social separation.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, said many countries and communities mistakenly believe that being vaccinated means they are fully protected against COVID-19 and do not need to take precautions.

“We are concerned about a false sense of security in many nations and communities that vaccines have halted the epidemic and that those who have been vaccinated do not need to take any additional precautions,” Tedros told reporters at the briefing.

COVID-19 vaccines may save lives, but they aren’t meant to completely prevent transmission and illness, according to him. To avoid being infected or spreading the virus to others, the WHO director-general urged vaccinated persons to practice masking and social distance.

“We cannot emphasize this enough: even if you have been vaccinated, take precautions to avoid becoming infected and infecting someone else who could die,” he said, adding, “That means wearing a mask, maintaining distance, avoiding crowds, and meeting others outside if possible, or in a well-ventilated space inside.”

The news conference comes as Europe continues to experience a worrisome increase in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations following the government’s lifting of several restrictions and certain countries’ vaccination rates lagging behind.

Europe accounted for 67 percent of all new COVID-19 cases reported in the week ending Nov. 21. More than 2.4 million new illnesses were reported this week, compared to more than 2.16 million the week before. Furthermore, Germany accounted for 31% of all new cases.

By March 2022, the WHO predicts at least 700,000 additional COVID-19 fatalities in Europe and Central Asia. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic may cause high stress in intensive care units in 49 of 53 countries in both areas over the next four months, according to the group.

Maria van Kerkhove, a WHO epidemiologist, recommended officials to adopt greater COVID-19 precautions, particularly during the holiday season in Europe. She did highlight, however, that social measures need not always imply lockdowns.

According to research from Johns Hopkins University, COVID-19 has infected 259,380,413 persons worldwide and claimed 5,173,924 lives.

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