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No 'Silver Bullet' for COVID-19, Widespread Vaccine Distribution Unlikely To Occur For Some Time, Says WHO

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 10 Aug 2020
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World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization (WHO Geneva, Switzerland) has warned that although a number of COVID-19 vaccines are now in Phase 3 clinical trials, no silver bullet presently exists and there may never be one.

In his opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 on August 3, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General told reporters that serology studies indicated that most people remained susceptible to the coronavirus, even in areas that have experienced severe outbreaks. While progress was being made in identifying treatments that can help people with the most serious forms of COVID-19 recover, there was a need for countries to engage in the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, participate in relevant clinical trials, and prepare for safe and effective therapeutics and vaccine introduction.

Given that several COVID-19 vaccines are now in Phase 3 clinical trials, Ghebreyesus said that the WHO was hopeful of a number of effective vaccines becoming available that can help prevent people from infection. However, he warned that there was no silver bullet at the moment and there might never be, and widespread vaccine distribution was unlikely to occur for some time.

Speaking on the WHO’s continued efforts to study the origins of the virus that causes COVID-19, Ghebreyesus informed that the WHO advance team that had travelled to China had concluded their mission to lay the groundwork for further joint efforts to identify the virus origins. As a result of these efforts, WHO and Chinese experts had drafted the Terms of Reference for the studies and program of work for an international team, led by WHO that would include leading scientists and researchers from China as well as around the world. Epidemiological studies were set to begin in Wuhan in order to identify the potential source of infection of the early cases, according to Ghebreyesus, and the evidence and hypotheses generated through the work would lay the ground for further, longer-term studies.

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