A CORONAVIRUS vaccine will NOT be ready this year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned.
Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s emergencies programme, said the first use of a Covid-19 jab cannot be expected until early 2021.
The expert said that while researchers are making “good progress”, suppressing the spread of the deadly bug should remain the focus.
He added that several vaccines were now in phase 3 trials and none had failed, in terms of safety or ability to generate an immune response.
“Realistically it is going to be the first part of next year before we start seeing people getting vaccinated,” he told a public event on social media.
WHO was working to expand access to potential vaccines and to help scale-up production capacity, Dr Ryan said.
“And we need to be fair about this, because this is a global good,” he added.
“Vaccines for this pandemic are not for the wealthy, they are not for the poor, they are for everybody,” he said.
It comes after UK scientists announced early trials of a vaccine called ChAdOx1 is safe and triggers a strong immune response.
The data from Oxford University research involved more than 1 000 healthy volunteers.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, said the trial result announcement was a “great day for British science.”
He told The Sun earlier this week he is increasingly hopeful a vaccine will be available “this side of Christmas.”
Kate Bingham, of the UK’s Vaccine Taskforce, added: “Optimistically, we’ll be vaccinating by the end of the year.”
Professor Adrian Hill, director of Oxford’s Jenner Institute for Vaccine Research at Oxford University, said the results were at the “high end” of expectations.
He added: “It’s possible for a vaccine being used by the end of the year.”
Meanwhile, Wellcome Trust director and Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) member Professor Sir Jeremy Farrar warned the world will be living with Covid-19 for “decades to come”.
Appearing before the Health and Social Care Committee on Tuesday, Prof Farrar told MPs: “Things will not be done by Christmas. This infection is not going away, it’s now a human endemic infection.
“Even, actually, if we have a vaccine or very good treatments, humanity will still be living with this virus for very many, many years to come.”
Prof Farrar also criticised the timing of the lockdown, saying: “I believe lockdown was too late, I believe lockdown should have come in earlier.” — THE SUN