As potential COVID-19 vaccines are now undergoing trials in humans around the world, the chief scientist of the World Health Organization today revealed a possible timeline for the rollout of a successful product.
“The World Health Organization hopes hundreds of millions of doses of coronavirus vaccine can be produced this year and 2 billion doses by the end of 2021, chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said on Thursday,” reports Reuters. “The WHO is drawing up plans to help decide who should get the first doses once a vaccine is approved, she said.”
“If we’re very lucky, there will be one or two successful [vaccine] candidates before the end of this year,” WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said.
Who Gets Them First
“Priority would be given to frontline workers such as medics, those who are vulnerable because of age or other illness, and those who work or live in high-transmission settings such as prisons and care homes,” reports NDTV. Swaminathan said the timeline was a guesstimate: “I’m hopeful, I’m optimistic. But vaccine development is a complex undertaking, it comes with a lot of uncertainty,” she said. “The good thing is, we have many vaccines and platforms so even if the first one fails, or the second ones fails, we shouldn’t lose hope, we shouldn’t give up.”
As for what countries get priority: “WHO will propose these solutions,” she said. “Countries need to agree and come to a consensus. That’s the only way this can work.”
Hydroxychloroquine Trials Ongoing
In the same news conference, Dr. Swaminathan says “it’s now been definitively proven that the cheap malaria drug hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work in stopping deaths among people hospitalized with the new coronavirus,” according to the AP. But she did say “there could still be a role for the drug in preventing people from catching COVID-19 in the first place and noted that clinical trials testing hydroxychloroquine’s role in this are ongoing.”
“And we need to complete those large trials and get the data,” said Dr. Swaminathan.
As of this writing, the United States has more than 2.1 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and reported 117,000+ deaths. As for yourself, to get through these coronavirus times at your healthiest, don’t miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.