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14 Apr, 2020 16:10

Covid-19 vaccine could take ‘12 months or longer,’ WHO warns as almost 2mn people infected with deadly virus

Covid-19 vaccine could take ‘12 months or longer,’ WHO warns as almost 2mn people infected with deadly virus

An effective vaccine against the novel coronavirus is unlikely to be available until the spring of 2021, World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson, Dr. Margaret Harris, has warned.

Dr. Harris told a briefing in Geneva that “We really shouldn’t be expecting to see the vaccine at least for 12 months or longer.”

Vaccinations take a long time to become available due to stringent regulations surrounding clinical trials. While there has been speculation about the effectiveness of some existing medications — such as the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine — these have not been proven to be effective against the novel coronavirus.

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There have also been reports of individuals recovering from Covid-19 only to become reinfected, raising concerns about whether or not patients who have had the coronavirus become immune to the disease.

If it turns out that infected individuals do not develop a long-term immunity, a vaccine may be essential to stopping the global pandemic and preventing multiple waves of reinfections.

As the world approaches two million confirmed Covid-19 cases, scientists believe that many countries have not yet reached the peak of the virus and that many more cases are to be expected. The WHO declared Covid-19 a global pandemic on March 11.

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