Young and Healthy people may have to wait until 2022 to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 as health workers and high-risk individuals would be prioritized, WHO chief scientist Saumya Swaminathan said. Speaking at a press briefing, Swaminathan asserted that despite trials for various vaccine candidates were going on, “speedy, mass shots” were unlikely in near future. In addition, she also said that authorities were still under discussion on who should be given the first doses but people at high risks were likely to be prioritised.
“Most people agree, it’s starting with healthcare workers, and frontline workers, but even there, you need to define which of them are at highest risk, and then the elderly, and so on. There will be a lot of guidance coming out, but I think an average person, a healthy young person might have to wait until 2022 to get a vaccine,” Swaminathan said.
While Russia already launched its COVID-19 vaccine last month, many including US’Moderna and Oxford’s vaccine candidates were in the final phase of the trial. Last month, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca’s US trial were paused on safety concerns. Meanwhile, the Indian origin paediatrician also warned against complacency about virus deaths. Asserting that mortality would increase with rising cases, she said that deaths lag behind COVID-19 cases by a couple of weeks.
This comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a review meeting of the research and vaccine deployment ecosystem against the COVID-19 pandemic including testing technologies, contact tracing, drugs, and therapeutics, etc, his office said on October 15. India, the second country to have the most Coronavirus cases, is ramping up efforts to develop and mass-produce a vaccine to deal with a pandemic that has claimed over 1.10 lakh lives in the country. PM Modi appreciated the efforts made by Indian vaccine developers and manufacturers amid the rush and assured them continued government facilitation and support.
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