Widespread COVID-19 Vaccinations Not Expected Until Mid-2021, Says WHO

Geneva: Since 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 World Health Organisation (WHO), it does not expect widespread vaccinations against COVID-19 until the middle of next year, reported India Today quoting WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris.

Western experts have already questioned the safety and efficacy of Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine launched in August after less than two months of human testing.

According to US public health officials and Pfizer Inc, a vaccine could be ready for distribution by late October.

“We are really not expecting to see widespread vaccination until the middle of next year,” India Today reported Harris as telling a UN 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.

All data from trials must be shared and compared, the report quoted Harris as saying. “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.


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