First signs if a COVID-19 vaccine works possible in fall: GAVI

ZURICH – The first indications of the effectiveness of a possible coronavirus vaccine may be available in the fall, the head of the GAVI vaccine alliance told a Swiss newspaper, which predicted a long way from there to wide availability.

“Unfortunately, we really don’t know which vaccine will work and whether there will be one at all. If we’re lucky, we’ll receive clues about the effectiveness of (a possible vaccine) in the fall, ‘GAVI head Seth Berkley told NZZ am Sonntag in an interview published Sunday.

“But there is still a long way to go before an approved active substance becomes available to the world’s population in large quantities.”

Berkley called for globally coordinated efforts to both produce and share a vaccine, saying international agreement was needed to build production capacity to quickly produce a vaccine once found.

“(Countries) should work together to share in each other’s vaccines in case their own is no good,” he said, adding that some vaccines might work better for younger people and others for older age groups.

He urged the World Health Organization to issue clear guidelines on the use and distribution of a vaccine to prevent a vaccine from being first made available to the wealthy at the expense of the most deprived people.

Should an effective vaccine become available in an initially limited supply, it should first be used to immunize health workers, he said.

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