World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said a COVID-19 vaccine may be ready by year-end.
Addressing the end of a two-day meeting of WHO Executive Board on the pandemic, WHO Director-General Tedros said, “We will need vaccines and there is hope that by the end of this year we may have a vaccine. There is hope.”
There are over half a dozen vaccine trial underway. AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine is said to be at the most advanced stage.
The WHO held a meeting of its Executive Board to discuss the pandemic on October 5-6. The WHO is meeting at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss the global response to the pandemic.
The WHO has said that one in 10 people around the world may have contracted COVID-19.
More than one million people have died from the virus, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. After the US, India and Brazil have seen the most infections and deaths.
Earlier in July, the WHO appointed former Liberian President and Nobel Laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark as two co-chairs to the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR). The panel met for the first time last month.
During the WHO Executive Board Special Session on Tuesday, Tedros stated that he chose the two co-chairs in order to allow the panel to begin work without delay.
“I appointed the two co-chairs, that’s it, then empowered the two co-chairs to select the rest of the panel, as reported today — that makes the panel really independent — and also to hire their own secretariat and to avoid also any influence from any donor,” Tedros remarked.
Despite his decision to select the two co-chairs, the director-general added that consultations were held with several of the WHO’s member states ahead of their appointment.