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Widespread COVID-19 Vaccination until the middle of next year – WHO

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You might have to wait until mid-next year to get the Covid-19 vaccine.

The World Health Organization has said despite various vaccine candidates showing promising results, none has met the 50 percent level of efficacy required.

The vaccines will have to undergo a vigorous process of checking on the effectiveness and safety. Phase three, which requires large clinical trials among the population, will take longer.

Similarly, all the data from the people vaccinated in the third phase will have to be shared and compared.

“We are really not expecting to see widespread vaccination until the middle of next year,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said.

“This phase three must take longer because we need to see how truly protective the vaccine is and we also need to see how safe it is.”

At least 170 vaccine candidates are being developed, with the list showing nine front-runners in the final stage of testing.

The WHO and GAVI vaccine alliance are leading a global vaccine allocation plan known as COVAX that aims to help buy and distribute shots fairly.

All the 54 African countries have expressed interest in COVAX, a global initiative led co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi the vaccine alliance and the WHO.

Kenya is one of the 92 countries that will be supported by donors to get the Covid-19 vaccines as early as possible. Health CS Mutahi Kagwe inspects the Mbagathi Hospital isolation center to ascertain the level of Covid-19 preparedness

The initiative seeks to ensure access for all countries.

CEPI is leading COVAX vaccine research and aims to develop up to three safe and effective vaccines that will be made available to countries participating in the COVAX facility.

Unicef is leading efforts to procure and supply the vaccines in what could possibly be the world’s largest and fastest ever procurement and supply of vaccines.

Once the vaccine passes the regulatory approval or WHO prequalification, it will be delivered equally to all participating countries, with priority being on first vaccinating the most high-risk people in every country such as healthcare workers, the old, and those with co-morbid conditions.

COVAX aims to procure and deliver two billion doses of approved vaccines by the end of 2021.

With several vaccine candidates showing promise, UNICEF in collaboration with the PAHO Revolving Fund will lead efforts to procure and supply doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

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