The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday called on the world to pull together to end the COVID-19 pandemic within the next year.
The UN health agency said, "2022 must be the year we end the pandemic."
With festivities coming at the end of the year, "all of us want to get back to normal," said the WHO, adding that "we need to protect ourselves now."It is better to cancel events now and celebrate later than to celebrate now and grieve later, it said.
Since the Omicron variant was first discovered in South Africa, it has been found in dozens of countries, said the organization, noting that the new variant is not more severe than the Delta variant, but is possibly more contagious and resistant to vaccines
On the inequity in access to vaccines
, the WHO said, "if we are to end the pandemic in the coming year, we must end inequity."