Young people might have to wait until 2022 for vaccine

Henrietta Strickland
October 16, 2020

"People tend to think, 'Ah, on the first of January or the first of April I'm going to get the vaccine and then things will be back to normal, '" Swaminathan said.

Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government's chief scientific advisor, told a television briefing last month that a vaccine could be available by the end of the year but it was much more likely to be available "in the first half of next year".

She added that she hoped the world would have have at least one safe and effective vaccine by 2021, but it would be available only in "limited quantities".

"A healthy young person might have to wait until 2022".

More than 38 million people have been reported infected globally and 1.1 million have died.

"Mortality increases always lag behind increasing cases by a couple of weeks", Dr Swaminathan said.

"I think most people agree that the people at highest risk of both transmission, getting the disease, and getting sick from it are health care workers, frontline workers and then the elderly and the vulnerable", she said.

The WHO has said letting infection spread in hopes of achieving "herd immunity" is unethical and would cause unnecessary deaths.

More than 170 countries have joined the WHO-led initiative, called COVAX.

Masked up people in Auckland's CBD.

The United States has not joined the programme, meaning that the U.S. timeline for vaccine distribution may differ from the one laid out by the WHO.

She said WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts has produced guidelines to help countries prioritize the allocation of a COVID-19 vaccine, but cautioned that even then hard decisions will need to be made. It said it was working on a way to "distribute these limited vaccines in a fair, ethical, and transparent way".

A report on Thursday said the National Health Service (NHS) was in talks with the British Medical Association (BMA) which represents doctors, and others around mobilising the rollout of a potential COVID-19 vaccine from December, estimating there was around a 50% chance of a vaccine being available at that time.

"Only non-pregnant adults" have participated in early trials so far, the CDC said on its website.

"However, clinical trials continue to expand those recruited to participate".

The change comes into force after a consultation on the plans, which include giving Britain's medical regulator the ability to grant temporary authorisation for any coronavirus vaccine that meets safety and quality standards but before it has received a full licence.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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