GENEVA: Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, World Health Organization (WHO), on Friday, September 4, said that distribution of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide on a large scale is not expected until mid-2021. She said that the flow of doses into countries for immunizing their population can probably be seen in mid or second half of the year 2021.
Dr Swaminathan added that the timeline is based on the fact that until the end of this year, the conclusion of Phase 3 trials of many vaccine candidates is not expected. Results are anticipated by the end of this year or beginning of next year from some of the candidates who are already in the Phase 3 trials. Following this, they are expected to scale up manufacturing to generate hundreds of millions of doses that are required. In fact, billions of doses will be required globally and their manufacturing will take time, so everyone has to remain optimistic and realistic at the same time.