The World Health Organization expects initial results from clinical trials it is conducting of drugs that might be effective in treating COVID-19 patients, within next two weeks.
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news briefing on Friday just as Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies programme, said it would be unwise to predict when a COVID-19 vaccine could be ready for mass distribution.
While a vaccine candidate might show its effectiveness by year’s end, the question was how soon it could be mass produced, he told the briefing.
Separately an initial purchase of the steroid dexamethasone, shown to be effective in treating severe or critical COVID-19 patients, will be made for up to 4.5 million people in low- and middle-income countries, agencies said on Friday.
The steroid dexamethasone, shown to be effective in treating severe or critical COVID-19 patients.
The U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is negotiating the advance purchase under the deal led by UNITAID and Wellcome, as part of the World Health Organization’s plan to accelerate access to therapeutics, a joint statement said.
“With this advanced purchase we aim to ensure equitable access for low- and middle-income countries for treatment of COVID-19 with the life-saving drug dexamethasone, and avoid shortages resulting from high-levels of demand from other parts of the world,” said Philippe Duneton, acting executive director of UNITAID.
(With input from Reuters)