CAPE TOWN – WHO chief Tedros Adhanon Ghebrayesus, has hailed the “encouraging news” about Covid-19 vaccines but stressed that complacency was not an option as cases in many countries continue to surge.
The UN agency says it is “extremely concerned” by the surge in cases in Europe and the Americas, which is pushing health workers and health systems to breaking point.
“We continue to receive encouraging news about Covid-19 vaccines and remain cautiously optimistic about the potential for new tools to start to arrive in the coming months. But it was no time for complacency” said Ghebreyesus during virtual press briefing.
According to John Hopkins University, a total of 55,021,938 people have tested positive, out of whom 1,327,228 have died till now. Many countries across Europe, including France and the UK, have announced a second lockdown to prevent another boom in infections.
Moderna announced on Monday that its experimental vaccine has shown a nearly 95 percent efficacy rate, according to interim results. This follows a recent similar announcement by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech.
Following these latest news on Covid vaccines, WHO said it is awaiting further data on these potential treatments.
“Of course we need to wait and see what the final efficacy and the safety profile of this vaccine will be when the whole data is analyzed after they reach their primary endpoint, and also have enough follow-up of at least two months of half the trial participants for the side effects. And that will then be submitted to the regulatory agencies”, she WHO Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan
The Moderna vaccine is among nine candidates in the COVAX Facility: a global initiative for equitable vaccine access led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and WHO.
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