- The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that it believes a vaccine will be ready by the end of 2021
- The real challenge is equitably distributing the vaccine across the world, ensuring that poorer nations have access to it
- Currently, there are over two dozen companies working on a vaccine right now with some expecting results before the end of 2020
On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) asked countries to take part in the global agreement that countries that are unable to afford access to the Covid-19 vaccine will be able to distribute it to their population.
The COVAX global facility has been created to helped pool funds from richer countries and organisations to help develop a Covid-19 vaccine and distribute it across the globe.
Briefly.co.za learned that the WHO hopes that a vaccine will be ready by the end of 2021.
COVAX is part of a broader programme called the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator which aims to coordinate the rolling out of Covid-19 vaccines, including tests and treatments.
Currently there are more than a dozen drug companies in a race against time to develop a safe and functioning Covid-19 vaccine. A number of these companies are expected to reveal if their vaccines are safe and work by the end of 2020.
Dr Anthony Fauci, a US infectious diseases expert, told Reuters that a trial being conducted by Moderna Inc could have positive results as soon as November.
Drug companies are already preparing their production capacity to meet the demand of a new vaccine when it is ready and the US government is aiding these efforts with ‘Operation Warp Speed’.
Fauci expects millions of doses will be ready by early 2021. This along with efforts from other companies could see a vaccine available on a global scale by the end of 2021.
The danger is that rich countries may be able to access the vaccine ahead of poor nations and people may struggle to afford the vaccine which could cost upwards of $40 (R690).
There are also political ramifications. If countries choose to withhold vaccines from the world this could cause political tension, particularly between the US, China and Russia, who are all feverishly working on vaccines.
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that the second round of Covid-19 vaccination trials is set to kick off this week in South Africa. Wits University will be screening participants for the trial today.
In the second phase of vaccination trials, SA will be evaluating if the nanoparticle S-protein in the Covid-19 vaccine known as NVX-CoV2373 protects against Covid-19 disease in adults aged 18 to 64 years old.
NVX-CoV2373 is produced by the biotech company, Novavax (Maryland, USA). Novavax is a late-stage biotechnology company that develops next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases.
In other news, a report by Daily Mail indicates that the Australian government is considering banning citizens in the country from flights, restaurants and public transportation if they don't get a Covid-19 vaccine.
Dr Nick Coatsworth, the deputy chief medical officer, made the disclosure on Wednesday, August 19 at a press conference.
According to Coatsworth, health officials and ministers would discuss measures to encourage Australians to take the coronavirus vaccine.
"Looking at specific things like not being able to go into restaurants, not being able to travel internationally, not being able to catch public transport... these are clearly policy decisions that will be discussed."
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