World Health Organization (WHO) Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan
Ten COVID-19 vaccines are in the last stage of clinical trials worldwide and over 180 countries have committed to participating in COVAX, an international initiative aimed at ensuring equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines, WHO Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said Monday.
Speaking at the WHOís press briefing in Geneva, Swaminathan said that as of Thursday, over 180 counties across the world have committed to the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, also known as COVAX, which is co-led by Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the WHO.
COVAX aims to accelerate the development and manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines, and is intended to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.
"Oct. 9 was another deadline for countries to make commitments and over the weekend, we have over 180 countries that have committed. These include the self-financing countries and the latest one to join and make a public announcement was China," said Swaminathan.
Swaminathan also introduced the development of COVID-19 vaccines across the world at the press briefing.
"As you know, we have about 40 vaccine candidates now in some stage of clinical trials and 10 of them are in the phase-III trials, which are the late-stage clinical trials, which will tell us about both the efficacy and the safety. So, the best that we could make a guess or predict looking at when a trial started and when it is likely to have enough data to submit to the regulators is the earliest is starting from December of 2020 into the early part of 2021. We expect a number of clinical trials to start providing data for regulators to look at," said Swaminathan.