New Delhi: Young and healthy adults may have to wait longer than people at high risk of Covid-19 infection including the elderly and frontline workers to get vaccinated. Also Read - After Sputnik V, Russia Approves 2nd COVID-19 Vaccine EpiVacCorona; Putin Says 3rd One Almost Ready
World Health Organization (WHO) Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan on Wednesday said, “A healthy young person might have to wait until 2022 (for coronavirus vaccine).” Also Read - COVID-19 Vaccine Latest Update: Who Will be The First to be Cured of Coronavirus in India? Know Here
Though the hard decisions of who gets vaccinated first, when manufacturing of millions of doses of a successful Covid-19 vaccine takes place, is still being worked out, Swaminathan said health care workers, frontline workers and older people would likely be the priority. Also Read - COVID-19 Vaccine Expected Soon in India, Experts Formulating Strategies For Its Distribution: Health Minister
While speaking at a WHO social media event, she said, “Most people agree, it’s starting with health care workers, and front-line workers, but even there, you need to define which of them are at highest risk, and then the elderly, and so on.”
The WHO chief scientist added that by 2021, the world will hopefully have at least one safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine, however, it will be in “limited quantities”.
The WHO’s strategic advisory group of the expert committee (SAGE) recently published guidelines for countries on how to prioritise vaccine candidates. It said the highest priority should be given to health workers and the elderly. Also, people with underlying conditions, pregnant women and children should be kept under the ‘risk group’ category.
Meanwhile, the WHO has cautioned countries against securing doses of coronavirus vaccine for their own citizens. The United States and China have so far secured millions of vaccine doses, which the WHO director general termed as “vaccine nationalism”.