Don’t expect a covid-19 vaccine before early 2021, says WHO

Published on:23 July 2020, 10:50am IST
Getting a vaccine for covid-19 is not going to be easy. It’s going to take a lot of time, especially when the virus is as precarious as SARS-CoV-2.
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2020 might not see a ready-to-use vaccine for covid-19. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

While the world is celebrating the Oxford vaccine which is touted to be ready for use by year end, the World Health Organisation is on a different tangent altogether. 

In his official statement, the co-director of the Oxford vaccine, Adrian Hill, states that the results of this vaccine were very promising but the “cure” still needs to go through more stages before the vaccine can be deployed. Perhaps this is the reason why, Mike Ryan, the executive director of WHO’s emergencies programme, is now saying that the first use of the vaccine cannot be expected before 2021. 

That said, the WHO is hopeful when it comes to the covid-19 vaccine progress
WHO is working hard to ensure fair distribution of the vaccines, but in the meantime it is key to suppress the spread of the coronavirus, said Ryan.

“We’re making good progress,” Ryan added, noting that several vaccines were now in phase three trials and none had failed, so far, in terms of safety or ability to generate an immune response.

He added:

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

WHO is taking every possible measure to scale up the production
WHO was working to expand access to potential vaccines and to help scale-up production capacity, he added.

“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.

The U.S. government will pay $1.95 billion to buy 100 million doses of a covid-19 vaccine being developed by Pfizer Inc and German biotech BioNTech if it proves safe and effective, the companies said earlier on Wednesday.

Vaccine status in India
To develop the Oxford vaccine, Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) has joined hands with the UK and 20 million vaccines will be developed between them.

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In fact, Poonawalla Group Chairman Cyrus Poonawalla has also said on a public platform that covid-19 vaccine might be out by early to mid-2021.

Indian government is also showing full support to this partnership and they will do whatever it takes to get covid-19 vaccines out ASAP.   

(With inputs from Reuters)

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