Thursday, 13 August 2020

“The world will be divided into groups with and without Covid-19 vaccine,” says former WHO virologist

Virologist Klaus Stohr said more than 90% of the population is susceptible to the infection, and that the world will be divided into those with vaccines and those without. "Common sense tells us that vaccines will not be available to most of the world"

Health "The world will be divided into groups with and without Covid-19 vaccine,"...

Virologist Klaus Stohr said more than 90% of the population is susceptible to the infection, and that the world will be divided into those with vaccines and those without. "Common sense tells us that vaccines will not be available to most of the world"

(QCOSTARICA) The first COVID-19 vaccines could be ready by early next year, a record speed for science. However, their access will not be the same for everyone.

This was explained by Klaus Stohr, one of the most reputed virologists on the planet. He is an expert in SARS disease. In 2003, he played a key role in a World Health Organization (WHO) investigation that swiftly identified a coronavirus as the cause of SARS.

- payin the bills -

Stohr, who left the WHO to join drugmaker Novartis AG in 2007 and retired a couple of years ago, paints a sobering picture in an interview with Bloomberg.

“Countries like Germany may have a significant amount of vaccine early next year and implementation that can take four, five, six months for the elderly. But the strategy may be different for countries like Brazil, Argentina or Chile that may never receive a single dose of a vaccine,” said Stohr.

“The world will be divided into two groups: those with a vaccine and those without a vaccine.

“We’re in a big, big quandary. We have to throw all the resources we can afford toward the development of a vaccine. On the other hand, I believe common sense tells us vaccines will not be available for the majority of the world.

- paying the bills -

“There may be, by the end of this year or beginning of next year, a half a billion doses available. The world population is 7.5 billion. Particularly in those countries which have insufficient infrastructure and struggle with their health-care systems and have huge populations, what vaccine are they going to have?

“The majority of the world population will not receive a vaccine. The virus will continue to spread, and it could be two to three years before the virus has affected a large majority of the population,” he added.

Klaus Stohr

The UK, for example, has already pre-purchased 100 million doses of the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca. It also secured 30 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 60 million doses of the Valneva vaccine, all in development. The country’s population is 66 million people.

To mitigate the impact of this inequality, the WHO launched a platform called ACT (Accelerator for Access to Tools against COVID-19), following a diplomatic initiative by Costa Rica.

However, the main vaccines in development are not part of the initiative.

- paying the bills --

WHO currently registers more than 140 vaccines in development, 23 of which are under clinical evaluation. The only ones in phase 3 of development (final stage) are those of Sinovac (China), the University of Oxford together with AstraZeneca (United Kingdom / Sweden) and Moderna (USA).

Both Sinovac and AstraZeneca will carry out phase clinical trials in Brazil to test the vaccine in the Latin American population. The companies are also carrying out tests in countries in other regions such as South Africa (AstraZeneca) and Bangladesh (Sinovac).

“It may be clear that only those who will have vaccine production on their soil will have access to vaccines during the pandemic. I hope it’s not going to turn out this way, but I fear it will. That hopefully will result in more investment into pandemic preparedness and vaccine preparedness in the coming years, so that the next pandemic will be addressed better than this one,” Stohr closed the Bloomberg interview.

 

Q Costa Rica
Q Costa Rica
Reports by QCR staff

Related Articles

COVID-19 in Costa Rica: 549 news cases; Dota reports infection after 159 days

(QCOSTARICA) This Wednesday, August 12, the Ministry of Health reported 549...

Costa Rican man died of COVID in US while waiting to be deported

(QCOSTARICA) A Costa Rican man in the custody of U.S. Immigration...

MOST READ

Indigenous Mexicans turn inward to survive COVID-19, barricading villages and growing their own food

Zapotec farmers return from their ‘milpa,’ the garden plots that provide much of the communities’ food, in Oaxaca, Mexico. Jeffrey H. Cohen, CC BY-SA While the...

Costa Rica reaches 200 dead five months into pandemic

(QCOSTARICA) This Thursday, August 6, five months since the first case of the novel coronavirus was reported in Costa Rica, the country reports 200...

Coronavirus: 18 deaths associated with COVID-19 in 24 hours

(QCOSTARICA) As the closure phase approaches for the orange areas of the country, mainly the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM), the pressure for more flexible...

Caturga asks to allow flights from the U.S. to Guanacaste

(QCOSTARICA) The Guanacaste Chamber of Tourism (Caturgua) is requesting that the Government allow the arrival of tourists from the United States this month of...

American Airlines Proposes Dates To Resume Flights To Costa Rica

(QCOSTARICA) American Airlines applied to Costa Rica's Civil Aviation to resume commercial and repatriation flights between Costa Rica and the United States. The U.S. airline...

Government eases restrictions in the GAM

(QCOSTARICA) Bowing to pressure from different sectors of the economy, the Costa Rica government ease commercial restrictions for the cantons on orange alert of...

Let's Keep This Going!

To be updated with all the latest news and information about Costa Rica and Latin America.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.