"We're making good progress," Dr. Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, said during a Q&A that was livestreamed Wednesday on YouTube.
"Realistically it is going to be the first part of next year before we start seeing people getting vaccinated.”
Ryan noted that mainly individuals between the ages of 18 and 55 have been stepping up around the world for trials.“That’s a massive contribution to the whole world,” he added.
“Vaccines in this pandemic are not for the wealthy; they’re not for the poor; they’re for everybody,” he argued, stressing that “fairness” in how a future vaccine is allocated is important to the public health agency.
The WHO expert also expressed during the Q&A that communities around the world should make sending children back to school a primary goal in battling the pandemic.
“There are many schools that act as very important points of nutrition for children, the points of safety for children in areas that are not necessarily as safe - socially - for kids. So schools don’t just function as sites of education,” he argued.
“We have to do everything possible to bring our children back to school, and the most effective thing we can do is to stop the disease in the community.”
“The results of phase 1 and/or phase 2 trials have been very promising. We should definitely believe these results, while acknowledging that they do not prove the vaccine is effective," said Aubree Gordon, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, as reported by Reuters.
"These early phase trials address safety and whether the vaccine elicits a good immune response. The good news is that we have several vaccines that have or are moving forward into phase 3 trials - the phase needed to prove it works for licensing.”