Science

Young, healthy people may not be vaccinated for Covid-19 until 2022: WHO

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on October 16, 2020 Published on October 16, 2020

Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, World Health Organisation   -  REUTERS

Despite the big countries pacing up their vaccine trials, speedy, mass shots of the vaccine are unlikely, says WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) stated on Wednesday that young and healthy people may not be vaccinated for Covid-19 until 2022, as per media reports.

Addressing a social event, WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said: “Most people agree, it’s starting with health care workers, and frontline workers, but even there, you need to define which of them are at highest risk, and then the elderly, and so on.”

“A healthy young person might have to wait until 2022,” she added.

The multilateral organisation maintained that it will focus on vaccinating vulnerable groups first. This includes elderly and frontline workers.

Also read: Russia approves second Covid-19 vaccine

Despite the big countries of the world pacing up their vaccine trials, WHO said that speedy, mass shots of the vaccine are unlikely.

This comes as two vaccine candidates — from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca — had to pause their trials citing safety concerns.

Also, procuring billions of doses of a successful vaccine will be a key challenge that necessitates the health administration to decide who will get inoculated first.

Earlier, the WHO said that letting infection proliferate in the hope of achieving “herd immunity” is unethical and would cause unnecessary deaths.

Also read: Covid vaccine will not be as effective in the elderly population

It further urged people to follow the necessary protocols, including hand-washing, social distancing, and wearing masks, among others.

Swaminathan said: “People talk about herd immunity. We should only talk about it in the context of a vaccine. You need to vaccinate at least 70 per cent of the people ... to really break transmission.”

“We shouldn’t be complacent that death rates are coming down.”

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Published on October 16, 2020
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