Coronavirus vaccine could be ready by end of 2020, says WHO

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Sarah Peddie

A vaccine to help fight against the coronavirus might be ready by the end of 2020, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

WHO executives met earlier this week to discuss and examine the response globally to the worldwide outbreak.

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was very positive about the potential for a vaccine by the end of the year saying: “there is hope”.

He continued: “We will need vaccines and there is hope that by the end of this year we may have a vaccine.”

Worldwide, there are currently nine experimental vaccines which are currently under the WHO-led Covax vaccine facility - it aims to distribute around 2 billion doses by the end of 2021.

168 countries have already joined the Covax programme however, China, the US and Russia are not part of it. 

China is currently in talks with WHO to get their locally produced vaccine assessed by the global health body which would be a step towards making it available for international use. 

Meanwhile, in Europe, the EU health regulator has now launched a real-time review of a vaccine developed by the US drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech. This will hopefully speed up the process of approval with researchers submitting findings without waiting for things to conclude. 

Both companies have had final stage talks with Europe and hope to supply 300 million doses. 

AstraZeneca’s vaccine approval could also be sped up following an announcement last week. The company has already signed a deal to produce 400 million doses. 

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