Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 August 2020

CORONAVIRUS

First signs if a Covid-19 vaccine works possible in autumn, GAVI vaccine alliance says

International agreement needed to build up manufacturing capacity to rapidly produce a vaccine once one is found

Dr Seth Berkley, CEO, Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance. Victor Besa / The National 
Dr Seth Berkley, CEO, Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance. Victor Besa / The National 

First indications of the effectiveness of a potential vaccine against coronavirus may be available in the autumn, the head of the GAVI vaccine alliance told a Swiss newspaper, forecasting a long road from there to broad availability.

"Unfortunately, we really do not know which vaccine will work and whether there will be one at all. If we're lucky, we'll receive indications in autumn as to (a potential vaccine's) effectiveness," GAVI head Seth Berkley told NZZ am Sonntag in an interview published on Sunday.

"But there will still be a long way to go from there until an approved active substance becomes available in large quantities for the global population."

Calling for globally co-ordinated efforts both to produce and share an eventual vaccine, Dr Berkley said international agreement was needed to build up manufacturing capacity to rapidly produce a vaccine once one is found.

"(Countries) should work together in order to share in each other's vaccines in case one's own are not good," he said, adding it was possible some vaccines would work better for younger people and others for older age groups.

He urged the Wealth Health Organisation to issue clear guidelines on a vaccine's use and distribution to prevent a vaccine first being made available to the rich at the expense of the people most in need.

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

Updated: May 24, 2020 04:00 PM

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