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World News

Vaccine against COVID-19 not certain, maybe in a year: WHO

FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Health Orgnaization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, June 25, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - It is not certain that scientists will be able to create an effective vaccine against the coronavirus that has caused the COVID-19 pandemic, but it could take a year before one were to be invented, the head of the World Health Organisation said.

Speaking by video-conference to deputies from the European Parliament’s health committee, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that if such a vaccine became a reality, it should become a public good available to all.

“It would be very difficult to say for sure that we will have a vaccine,” Tedros said. “We never had a vaccine for a coronavirus. So this will be, when discovered, hoping that it will be discovered, it will be the first one,” he said.

He said the WHO had already more than a 100 candidates for a vaccine of which one was at an advanced stage of development.

“Hoping that there will be a vaccine, the estimate is we may have a vaccine within one year. If accelerated, it could be even less than that, but by a couple of months. That’s what scientists are saying,” he said.

Reporting by Jan Strupczewski and Josephine Mason

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