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Sunday, January 24, 2021

WHO hopes 2 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses by next year

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WHO hopes 2 billion Covid-19 vaccine
Soumya Swaminathan, Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organisation. (Photo: FAO/IANS)

Dr Soumya Swaminathan, who is the chief scientist at the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday, said that nearly 2 billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccine would be ready by the end of next year.

Addressing the media from Geneva, she said that “at the moment, we do not have a proven vaccine but if we are lucky, there will be one or two successful candidates before the end of this year” and 2 billion doses by the end of next year.

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Scientists still predict a safe and effective vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, could take at least 12-18 months to develop.

Last month, global pharmaceutical major Pfizer said that it believes that a vaccine to prevent Covid-19 could be ready by the end of October.

There are currently over 100 vaccines in various stages of trials.

AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate developed by researchers from Oxford University will likely provide protection against the disease for one year, the British drug maker’s CEO told Belgian radio station Bel RTL this week.

Oxford University last month announced the start of a Phase II/III UK trial of the vaccine, named AZD1222 (formerly known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19), in about 10,000 adult volunteers. Other late-stage trials are due to begin in a number of countries.

READ ALSO: WHO urges all countries to unite against COVID-19 pandemic

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