A nurse administers a flu vaccination to a woman at the CVS pharmacy and MinuteClinic in Key Biscayne, Florida, on Thursday. AFP
None of the candidate vaccines in advanced clinical trials so far has demonstrated a "clear signal" of efficacy at the level of at least 50% sought by the WHO, spokeswoman Margaret Harris said.
Russia granted regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine in August after less than two months of human testing, prompting some Western experts to question its safety and efficacy.
US public health officials and Pfizer Inc said on Thursday a vaccine could be ready for distribution as soon as late October. That would be just ahead of the US election on Nov.3 in which the pandemic is likely to be a major factor among voters deciding whether President Donald Trump wins a second term.
"We are really not expecting to see widespread vaccination until the middle of next year," Harris told a UN briefing in Geneva.
A nurse administers a flu vaccination to a woman in Key Biscayne, Florida. AFP
"This phase 3 must take longer because we need to see how truly protective the vaccine is and we also need to see how safe it is," she added. This referred to the phase in vaccine research where large clinical trials among people are conducted. Harris did not refer to any specific vaccine candidate.
All data from trials must be shared and compared, Harris said. "A lot of people have been vaccinated and what we don't know is whether the vaccine works...at this stage we do not have the clear signal of whether or not it has the level of worthwhile efficacy and safety...," she added.
The WHO and GAVI vaccine alliance are leading a global vaccine allocation plan known as COVAX that aims to help buy and distribute shots fairly. The focus is on first vaccinating the most high-risk people in every country such as healthcare workers.
COVAX aims to procure and deliver 2 billion doses of approved vaccines by the end of 2021, but some countries that have secured their own supplies through bilateral deals, including the United States, have said they will not join.
"Essentially, the door is open. We are open. What the COVAX is about is making sure everybody on the planet will get access to the vaccines," Harris said.
"It will be very premature and I think unrealistic to think that we're going to finish with this virus by the end of the year," Ryan told journalists. "But I think what we can finish with, if we're smart, is the hospitalisations, the deaths and the tragedy associated with this pandemic."
Preliminary projections make the availability of one or several vaccines seem possible by autumn 2020," the Robert Koch Institute said in a statement on its website, citing a global effort to bring immunisations to market.
World leaders must not politicise the coronavirus pandemic but unite to fight it, the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned on Monday, reminding all that the pandemic is still accelerating and producing record daily increases in infections.
Health officials worldwide have expressed concerns in recent days that some countries grappling with the devastating economic impact of lockdowns may lift restrictions too swiftly, and that the coronavirus could spread during mass anti-racism protests.
Titled, "This Is Our Time," the song highlights pride in the UAE’s culture, celebrates the future and brings together nations from around the world.
President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a congratulatory message to President Bidya Devi Bhandari of Nepal on the occasion of her country's National Day anniversary.
The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 42,087,282 and 673,763, respectively. In terms of infections, India follows in the second place with 33,448,163 cases.