Healthy young may not get COVID-19 vaccine until 2022: WHO
New Delhi, Oct 15: Healthy, young people may have to wait until 2022 to be vaccinated against coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization's chief scientist, who says health workers and those at highest risks will be prioritised.
Soumya Swaminathan indicated that, despite the many vaccine trials being undertaken, speedy, mass shots were unlikely, and organising who would given access first in the event of a safe vaccine being discovered was still being worked on.
"Most people agree, it's starting with healthcare workers, and frontline workers, but even there, you need to define which of them are at highest risk, and then the elderly, and so on," Swaminathan said.
"There will be a lot of guidance coming out, but I think an average person, a healthy young person might have to wait until 2022 to get a vaccine," she said.
"You need to vaccinate at least 70 per cent of people to really break transmission," she further stated.
Swaminathan hoped there would be at least one effective vaccine by 2021 but it would be available only in "limited quantities".
Notably, two vaccine candidates, from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca's US trial, have been paused on safety concerns.
Meanwhile, global infections stand at 38.4 million, with deaths at 1.09 million. The US continues to lead on both counts, with just under 8 million infections and more than 2,16,000 deaths.