WHO aims for two billion coronaviurs vaccines by 2021

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The World Health Organisation said that a few hundred million COVID-19 vaccine doses could be produced by the end of the year — and be targeted at those most vulnerable to the virus.

The UN health agency said it was working on that assumption, with a view to two billion doses by the end of 2021, as pharmaceutical firms rush to find a vaccine.

WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said researchers were working on more than 200 vaccine candidates around the world, including 10 that are in human testing.

“If we’re very lucky, there will be one or two successful candidates before the end of this year,” she told a virtual press conference.

She identified three groups most in need of the first wave of vaccine doses.

They are front-line workers with high exposure, such as medics and police officers; those most vulnerable to the disease, such as the elderly and diabetics; and people in high-transmission settings, such as urban slums and care homes.