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Widespread COVID-19 Vaccinations Not Expected Until Mid-2021: World Health Organization

The World Health Organization says that none of the vaccine candidates have so far demonstrated a “clear signal” of efficacy against COVID-19

Widespread COVID-19 Vaccinations Not Expected Until Mid-2021: World Health Organization
Highlights
  • All data from COVID vaccine trials must be shared and compared: Ms. Harris
  • WHO’s COVAX aims to procure 2 billion vaccine doses by end of 2021
  • COVAX is about making sure everyone gets access to the vaccines: Ms. Harris

Geneva: The World Health Organization (WHO) does not expect widespread vaccinations against COVID-19 until the middle of next year, a spokeswoman said on Friday, stressing the importance of rigorous checks on their effectiveness and safety. None of the candidate vaccines in advanced clinical trials so far has demonstrated a “clear signal” of efficacy at the level of at least 50% sought by the WHO, spokeswoman Margaret Harris said.

Also Read: Minimal SARS-CoV-2 Diversity Suggests Global Vaccine Is Feasible: Study

Russia granted regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine in August after less than two months of human testing, prompting some Western experts to question its safety and efficacy.

U.S. public health officials and Pfizer Inc said on Thursday a vaccine could be ready for distribution as soon as late October. That would be just ahead of the U.S. election on Nov. 3 in which the pandemic is likely to be a major factor among voters deciding whether President Donald Trump wins a second term.

We are really not expecting to see widespread vaccination until the middle of next year, Ms. Harris told a U.N. (United Nations) briefing in Geneva.

“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 added. This referred to the phase in vaccine research where large clinical trials among people are conducted. Harris did not refer to any specific vaccine candidate.

Also Read:  Fair Distribution Of COVID-19 Vaccine A Big Challenge: WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan

All data from trials must be shared and compared, Ms. Harris said.

A lot of people have been vaccinated and what we don’t know is whether the vaccine works…at this stage we do not have the clear signal of whether or not it has the level of worthwhile efficacy and safety…, she added.

The WHO and GAVI vaccine alliance are leading a global vaccine allocation plan known as COVAX that aims to help buy and distribute shots fairly. The focus is on first vaccinating the most high-risk people in every country such as healthcare workers.

COVAX aims to procure and deliver 2 billion doses of approved vaccines by the end of 2021, but some countries that have secured their own supplies through bilateral deals, including the United States, have said they will not join.

Essentially, the door is open. We are open. What the COVAX is about is making sure everybody on the planet will get access to the vaccines, Ms. Harris said.

Also Read: Explainer: Reaching Herd Immunity In A Viral Pandemic

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.) 

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.  

 

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