Geneva | The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday it would not expect a widespread vaccination against COVID-19 until mid-2021, as preparations for the distribution of a vaccine accelerate in the United States .
• Read also: All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic
• Read also: Encouraging preliminary results for the Russian vaccine
“As you know, a considerable number of applicants have now entered phase 3 of the trials. We know of at least 6 to 9 who have already come a long way in terms of research, ”WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris told a press briefing in Geneva.
“But in terms of a realistic schedule, we really don’t expect to see widespread vaccination until the middle of next year,” she added.
The spokesperson explained that sentence 3 of clinical trials – that is, the stage of massive testing on volunteers – is taking time, as scientists need to verify whether the vaccine is effective and safe.
Several pharmaceutical company executives for their part pledged Thursday to “cut corners” and to respect “safety” standards in the race for the vaccine against COVID-19, despite sometimes insistent calls to prefer it. the rapidity.
But “the good news is that manufacturers are already betting on which vaccine is likely to be, and are already thinking about how they can increase vaccine production once we know which one will be used.” Ms. Harris pointed out.
Competition rages on to develop a vaccine against COVID-19.
In the United States, the most bereaved country in the world, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) have “urgently” called on states to do what is necessary so that the distribution centers for a future vaccine can be ” fully operational by November 1, 2020 ”, just before the presidential election.
At the end of August, US President Donald Trump had also promised a vaccine “this year” against COVID-19.
In Geneva, Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the WHO, told reporters this week that the organization has worked with experts from around the world, including the United States Medicines Agency (FDA) and the European Agency. drugs (EMA), to “propose criteria” for the safety and efficacy of future vaccines.
“We would like to see a vaccine with at least 50% efficacy, preferably better,” she said.