Scientists are working on 7 to 8 'top' coronavirus vaccine candidates
There seems to be just one question on everyone's minds right now, and that is, when will this pandemic end? However while that question is still unanswered, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that there are around seven or eight “top” candidates for a vaccine to combat the novel coronavirus and work on them is being accelerated.
World over the number of confirmed cases has passed 4.1 million, with the death toll reaching 285,000. More than 1.4 million have recovered from the virus.
In a press conference, the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that initially the timeline for a vaccine that has crippled the world was earmarked as taking anywhere between 12 to 18 months.
However, he said an accelerated effort is under way, helped by 7.4 billion euros ($8 billion) pledged a week ago by leaders from 40 countries, organisations and banks for research, treatment and testing. But according to the Director-General, that amount is not enough. He said additional fund will be needed to speed up the process so that a vaccine when available will be able to cater to the world's needs.
“We have good candidates now. The top ones are around seven, eight. But we have more than a hundred candidates. We are focusing on the few candidates we have which can bring probably better results and accelerating those candidates with better potential,” Tedros said.
“WHO has been working with thousands of researchers all over the world to accelerate and track vaccine development from developing animal models to clinical trial designs and everything in between, he added.
Germany pledges $812 million towards Covid-19 vaccine
The German government has agreed a funding program of three-quarters of a billion euros on the development and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine. Germany is one of a number of countries around the world funding trials into vaccine development. According to the German-based Association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies, 121 vaccine development programs are underway around the world.
Coronavirus vaccine may never be found, Boris Johnson says
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson's UK government is preparing for the worst outcome where "no vaccine is available".
He said that the government needed to plan for a "worst-case scenario" where scientists do not find a means of inoculating people against the illness.
"It is clear that the only feasible long-term solution lies with a vaccine or drug-based treatment," he says. "But while we hope for a breakthrough, hope is not a plan.
However, many fear there will be a vaccine race between the countries and according to the New York Times, the geopolitics of the vaccine race are growing as complex as the medicine. But most people including Bill Gates has said that things cannot really return to normal until the world's 7 billion people are vaccinated.=