World Health Organisation Warns Vaccine Looks Unlikely Before 2021
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that a vaccine to combat the coronavirus does not look likely before mid-2021.
While they welcomed that there has been a ‘considerable number’ of vaccine candidates across the globe, all entering the final stages of trials, the WHO shared that a worldwide immunisation does not look likely this year.
COVID-19 has already caused the deaths of almost 870,000 people around the world and 1,777 in the Republic of Ireland.
Spokeswoman for the WHO Margaret Harris said ‘in terms of realistic timelines, we are really not expecting to see widespread vaccination until the middle of next year.’
‘This phase 3 must take longer because we need to see how truly protective the vaccine is and we also need to see how safe it is’ she said of vaccine prototypes in their final stages of testing.
WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday morning that the organisation would not endorse a vaccine unless it was both effective and safe.
Dr Adhanom Ghebreyesus also called on different countries to join together, urging that ‘vaccine nationalism’ would only mean waiting longer.
Countries like Russia, the US and the UK are all on their way to producing a vaccine. However, scientists have cautioned that Russia’s vaccine test groups have been too small to determine success.
On Tuesday, Vladimir Putin announced that a locally developed vaccine against COVID-19 had been given regulatory approval after just two months of trials, and mass distribution will begin in October.
Putin’s announcement followed a statement from the World Health Organisation (WHO) that talks were underway with Russian authorities to conduct a review of the vaccine, named Sputnik V, amid concerns that researchers had not adhered to international guidelines.
Meanwhile, Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr Anthony Fauci had only recently shared he felt ‘cautiously optimistic’ that a vaccine could be produced by Autumn.
This promise was followed by concerns that the Trump administration may be attempting to roll out a vaccine before the November presidential election.