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Don’t expect first COVID19 vaccinations until early 2021, Says head of emergencies at WHO

Don’t expect first COVID19 vaccinations until early 2021, Says head of emergencies at WHO

🔴👉Geneva, July 23: Though researchers across the globe are making good progress on the development of a vaccine to treat Covid-19, vaccinations are not likely to begin any time before 2021, according to Dr Michael Ryan, head of emergencies at the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“We are making good progress, we are not losing (vaccine) candidates right now,” Ryan said at an online Q&A organised by WHO. He further said that the vaccine candidates have made it through Phase I and Phase II trials and have shown positive immune response in volunteers.

However, he urged people to be realistic about the time within which a vaccine can be launched.

“We are seeing hopeful signs but we need to be realistic on time,” he said.

“No matter how far we push, we have to make sure that these vaccines are safe and that they are effective and that takes its own time,” he added.

“Realistically, it is going to be the first part of next year before we start seeing people getting vaccinated,” he said.

He further said that the health agency will not “cut corners” on safety. Furthermore, even after the vaccine is launched, the WHO expert said that it will take time to determine how effective the vaccines are for a larger population.

He asked people to be realistic as vaccines are not 100 per cent effective.

“We are going to have to wait and see how effective the vaccine will be and how long the effect is going to last,” he said.

He also called for a fair distribution of vaccines.

“We are working with many partners to expand the trials across the world,” Ryan said.

“And we need to be fair about this because this is a global good. Vaccines for this pandemic are not for the wealthy, they are not for the poor, they are for everybody,” he said.

Last week, WHO had said that 75 countries have shown interest in joining its COVAX facility meant to provide global access to a Covid-19 vaccine.

The countries would finance the vaccines from their own public finance budgets while partnering to support 90 lower-income countries through voluntary donations to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation’s (Gavi) COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), the health agency said.

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