WHO: Covid-19 vaccine could be ready by year-end

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A vaccine against Covid-19 may be ready by the year-end, the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday, without elaborating.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for solidarity and political commitment by all leaders to ensure equal distribution of vaccines when they become available.

The EU health regulator has launched a real-time review of a Covid-19 vaccine developed by US drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech, it said on Tuesday, following a similar announcement for rival AstraZeneca’s jab last week. The announcement by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) could speed up the process of approving a successful vaccine in the bloc.

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Nine experimental vaccines are in the pipeline of the WHO-led COVAX global vaccine facility that aims to distribute 2 billion doses by the end of 2021.

So far some 168 countries have joined the COVAX facility, but neither China, the United States nor Russia are among them. The Trump administration has said it is relying instead on bilateral deals to secure supplies from vaccine makers.


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