“There is hope” Covid-19 vaccine could be ready by the end of the year, WHO director

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A Covid-19 vaccine could be ready by end of this year and distributed by next year. While the cost and availability of the vaccine remains uncertain, the World Health Organisation director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is calling on world leaders to make sure any vaccine is equally distributed to the public once it is available.

WHO’s COVAX global vaccine facility is working with scientists on 9 experimental Covid-19 vaccines. The goal is to distribute 2 billion doses by the end of 2021. The WHO held a meeting on the global response to the coronavirus pandemic where Tedros reiterated that “the world needs a vaccine against Covid-19″.

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

In Thailand, the National Vaccine Committee plans to set aside nearly 3 billion baht to procure enough doses of the Covid-19 vaccine for half its population. The director of the National Vaccine Institute, Nakorn Premsri, says pre-ordering the vaccine will ensure the it can be widely administered once it’s available for distribution. He says Thai healthcare workers are first in line.

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“We expect the vaccine to be ready next year, and each person will require 2 doses. The deal for reserving vaccines for Thai people will be discussed later this month. Our proposed budget is subject to approval by the Cabinet, which will decide if it should come from the national budget or government loans. The vaccines will be supplied in lots, so payments can also be made in instalments.”

At the WHO meeting, some countries like Germany, Britain and Australia called for reforms to strengthen the United Nations agency. The WHO has also been criticised by United States President Donald Trump’s administration for its role in the crisis and claims of bias toward China, but Tedros shot down the claims, saying the WHO has been keeping the world informed.

“We hope to get the real lessons that we can implement and prevent the same thing from happening … But I would like to assure you that WHO is ready to learn from this and change this organisation.”

SOURCE: Reuters

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Caitlin Ashworth

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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