Healthy young people may have to wait until 2022 for COVID-19 vaccine, say WHO

The top officials of World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday said that young and healthy adults may have to wait longer than people at high risk of COVID-19 infection including the elderly and frontline workers to get vaccinated.

According to a report by Live Mint, WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan while addressing a social media event said that healthy young people might have to wait until 2022. "Most people agree, it's starting with health care workers, and front-line workers, but even there, you need to define which of them are at highest risk, and then the elderly, and so on. A healthy young person might have to wait until 2022," Swaminathan said.

The WHO chief scientist added that by 2021, the world will hopefully have at least one safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine, however, it will be in “limited quantities”.

Noting that over 10 coronavirus vaccines around the world are in late-stage clinical trials, Swaminathan said that WHO's strategic advisory group of experts on immunization, or SAGE, will release guidance on what populations each vaccine is best suited for and how to logistically distribute it.

Two candidates, from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca's U.S. trial, are paused on safety concerns, while manufacturing billions of doses of an eventual successful vaccine will be a colossal challenge demanding hard decisions about who gets inoculated first.

Despite a steady progress in tackling tuberculosis (TB) across the world, global targets for its prevention and treatment will likely be missed due to insufficient funding and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, according to a latest World Health Organization (WHO) report.

The WHO's Global Tuberculosis Report 2020 released on Wednesday said that between 2015 and 2019, there was a 9 per cent reduction in TB incidence and a 14 per cent drop in deaths, together with high-level political commitments at global and national levels delivering results, reports Xinhua news agency reported.

However, about 14 million people were treated for TB in the period 2018-2019, just over one-third of the way towards the five-year target of 40 million for 2018-2022.

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