Mass COVID-19 vaccination unlikely until mid-2021

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The World Health Organization (WHO) spokeswoman Margaret Harris said Friday it is unlikely that there will be mass vaccination against the novel coronavirus before the middle of the next year.

“In terms of realistic timelines, we’re really not expecting to see widespread vaccination until the middle of next year,” said Harris at a twice-weekly UN briefing in Geneva about expectations for a novel coronavirus vaccine timeline.

She said that there are a considerable number of candidates now that have entered phase three vaccine trials where the WHO knows of at least six to nine that have got quite a long way with the research already.

“The phase three trials is when you compare, you’d have a large group of people and half get the vaccine, half get a placebo, or a different known vaccine, such as the meningitis vaccine. Harris said that the world is seeing many different vaccines, and there is a need to compare them “head to head” to see which one is offering the “best protection and the greatest safety levels as well.”

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