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Coronavirus: WHO stresses importance of "collective action" pandemic response | FULL

CA, 10 Sep 2020
Experts with the World Health Organization (WHO) stressed Thursday the importance of “collective action” as countries continue to respond to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, and said that developing a safe and effective vaccine will depend on countries working together.

WHO chief scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan and Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies programme, also both emphasized that a safe vaccine will take time to develop and that the focus should not be on individual vaccine candidates.

“This is a race against time, it’s a race against the virus, it’s a race to save lives. But let's not bet on any horses until we get to the end of this race,” said Ryan.

Swaminathan said results from various vaccine trials may start emerging by the end of the year, but that regulatories will need more time to examine results.

“It could be we see some results by the end of the year, it could be early next year,” she said. “There’s no way of predicting, currently, which ones are going to be effective.”

Swaminathan also responded to news that a patient taking part in the AstraZeneca vaccine trial had developed transverse myelitis, calling it a “wake-up call” about the issues that can arise in a clinical trial. She said people should not be discouraged by the news.

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