Geneva (UNA-OIC) – Six experimental coronavirus vaccines, including three candidates from China, have entered phase 3 clinical trials, a senior official at the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed on Thursday.
Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program Dr. Michael Ryan said during a virtual briefing that the six candidates will be put into the general population for the first time in phase 3 to see if the vaccines can protect large numbers of people from the virus over a prolonged period of time.
The WHO official, however, warned entering “phase-3 doesn’t mean nearly there”, as there is no guarantee that any of these six will give us the answer.
The UN health agency also warned against “vaccine nationalism”, saying vaccine-hogging richer countries would not be safe coronavirus havens if poor nations remained exposed.
WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it would be in the interest of richer nations to ensure that any vaccines eventually produced to protect against the new coronavirus were shared globally.
“Vaccine nationalism is not good, it will not help us,” Tedros told the Aspen Security Forum (ASF) in the United States, via video-link from the WHO headquarters in Geneva on Thursday.
“For the world to recover faster, it has to recover together because it’s a globalized world: the economies are intertwined. Part of the world or a few countries cannot be a safe haven and recover,” he added, stressing that the damage from COVID-19 could be less when those countries who have the funding commit to this.
WHO further said that multiple different types of vaccines would likely be needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, as there are 26 candidate vaccines are in various stages of being tested on humans, with six having reached Phase 3 wider levels of testing.