WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The widespread distribution of COVID-19 vaccines are projected to be released by mid-2021, says officials from the World Health Organization.
- The WHO also added that one shot of the vaccine can last long and can protect about 70 percent of people receiving the vaccines.
- While details on how the vaccines will be equally distributed worldwide are being discussed, experts said that healthcare workers should be the top recipients for the initial vaccine doses.
The World Health Organization (WHO) officials predicted on Sunday that extensive distributions of vaccines for COVID-19 won’t probably happen until the middle part of 2021.
According to USA Today, WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan told reporters that a vaccine might not be available to the public until sometime in summer.
Swaminathan added that it only takes one shot for an ideal vaccine candidate to protect around 70 percent of people who receive vaccine doses despite the minimal standard of 50 percent. Just one shot can last for many years, the WHO said.
This forecast correlates with previous WHO reports that also said that COVID-19 vaccine doses won’t be available until mid-2021.
In a bid to avoid “vaccine nationalism” with the COVAX initiative that includes over 150 countries in improving vaccine access, the WHO has taken measures to make sure the vaccines are equally distributed worldwide. The target is to be able to produce 2 billion doses at the end of 2021.
While details on how an impending coronavirus vaccine would be distributed remain unclear, it has been deduced that everyone will be immunized following a phased approach. Experts have pushed that frontline workers, mainly the health care sector, receive the first round of doses, followed by other essential workers.
On Tuesday, a federal advisory group called the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices discussed options regarding vaccine distributions. Although the group did not report their recommendations, they said to meet again to vote on recommended vaccine dosage once the Food and Drug Administration approves a vaccine.
Key players for producing vaccines include pharmaceutical companies Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Pfizer, which are government-funded under Operation Warp Speed.
Source: The Hill