Geneva: The World Health Organization does not expect widespread vaccinations against Covid-19 until the middle of next year, a spokeswoman said, stressing the importance of rigorous checks on their effectiveness and safety.
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.
“We are really not expecting to see widespread vaccination until the middle of next year,” Harris told a UN briefing in Geneva.
“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.
All data from trials must be shared and compared, Margaret 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.