World Health Organization (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Tuesday (October 6) said that a vaccine against coronavirus COVID-19 may be ready by year-end.
The WHO boss made the announcement while addressing the end of a two-day meeting of global health body's Executive Board on the pandemic. "We will need vaccines and there is hope that by the end of this year we may have a vaccine. There is hope," he said.
Tedros reiterated the need for solidarity and political commitment by all leaders to ensure equal distribution of vaccines once they hit the market. "We need each other, we need solidarity and we need to use all the energy we have to fight the virus," he said.
It is to be noted that nine experimental vaccines are in the pipeline of the WHO-led COVAX global vaccine facility. "Especially for the vaccines and other products which are in the pipeline, the most important tool is political commitment from our leaders especially in the equitable distribution of the vaccines," Tedros said.
Meanwhile, Microsoft founder Bill Gates said on Tuesday said that rich countries could be back to close to normal by late 2021 if an effective vaccine for coronavirus gets ready and is distributed properly at scale.
"By late next year you can have things going back pretty close to normal - that`s the best case," Gates, 64, told The Wall Street Journal CEO Council.
"We still don`t know whether these vaccines will succeed. Now the capacity will take time to ramp up. And so the allocation within the US, and between the US and other countries will be a very top point of contention," he added.
COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca/Oxford University are currently the leader in the race to be first to get regulatory approval in the US and other western nations.