“There is hope” that a vaccine against Covid-19 may be ready by the end of this year, the World Health Organisation’s Director-General said in his closing remarks to the global agency’s executive board on Tuesday without offering any additional details, according to a Reuters report.
“We will need vaccines and there is hope that by the end of this year we may have a vaccine. There is hope,” Tedros said.
However, the WHO head called for solidarity and political commitment from all leaders to ensure equitable distribution of the vaccine when it becomes available.
Nine vaccine candidates in various stages of trials are part of the WHO-led COVAX global vaccine initiative that plans to distribute 2 billion doses by the end of 2021.
- That’s the total number of countries that have joinedWHO’s COVAX initiative. However, this excludes the United States, China and Russia. The Trump administration has said that it will instead rely on bilateral deals to secure a supply of vaccines.
Dr. Amesh Adalja who is a Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security told Forbes that the year-end timeline is “extremely optimistic,” but noted that “there may be some sort of emergency approval that offers some availability for high-risk individuals like health care workers.” Esther Krofah, executive director of the Milken Institute thinktank, FasterCures, said that the timeline may be feasible for emergency use authorization of the vaccines being developed by Moderna and Pfizer.