The world health Organization said it hoped Thursday that a few hundreds of millions of vaccines against the COVID-19 could be produced before the end of the year, and even two billion in 2021.
As the race to vaccines accelerates, the scientific director of the WHO, Soumya Swaminathan, said that more than 200 vaccine candidates are under study around the world, and a dozen ongoing clinical trials.
“If we have a lot of luck, there will be one or two candidates before the end of this year,” she said during a virtual press conference.
The high chief of the WHO has identified three groups of population which should be primarily vaccinated: the front-line workers such as doctors and police officers, the most vulnerable people such as the elderly, persons living in high transmission settings such as urban slums and the homes of health.
“We start from the assumption that we might have some hundreds of millions of doses at the end of this year, very optimistic,” said dr. Swaminathan, adding: “We hope that by 2021, we will have two billion doses of one, two or three effective vaccines “.
At the end of may, the bosses of the pharmaceutical industry have also said to believe that a vaccine before 2021, but stressed that the challenges would be considerable, because the world is going to need two doses of vaccine per person, is $ 15 billion according to some estimates.
Ms. Swaminathan explained that the scientists analyze 40 000 sequences of the genome of the new coronavirus, which has claimed more than 450 000 deaths in the world, and indicated that it had not mutated in the key areas that would, in particular, the severity of the disease.
Dexamethasone, a steroid, is at this point the only drug that appears to improve survival in patients of the COVID-19.
Touted by us president Donald Trump and the French researcher controversial Didier Raoult, hydroxychloroquine has not confirmed the hopes placed in him. WHO gave up the trials on this treatment, arriving at the conclusion that this antimalarial drug did not reduce the mortality rate of the sick of the Covid-19 hospitalized.
Ms. Swaminathan has indicated that trials that were not conducted by the WHO continued in the world to find out if hydroxychloroquine could have a preventive role in facing the virus.
“Hydroxychloroquine has no impact – we are safe now – on the disease in terms of mortality in hospitalized patients of the COVID-19 “, she said, underlining that you did not know, however, whether or not the treatment could have a preventive effect, or to reduce the severity of the infection if it is taken at the onset of the infection.