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Fight against Corona: COVID-19 vaccine maybe ready by the end of 2020, said experts

Experts around the world are confident in the current research and development progress of the COVID-19 vaccine, with some of them believing that a safe and efficient vaccine will be ready for production by the end of this year.

Researchers around the world are racing to develop a vaccine against COVID-19, and more than 170 candidate vaccines are now tracked by the World Health Organization. Among those, the promising ones are reportedly from the UK, the U.S., China, and Russia, with large-scale human tests underway in different parts of the world. Six of the vaccines have entered phase three clinical trials, the last phase in the development of a vaccine before it goes through licensure.

"I'm quite hopeful that by the end of 2020 we will have vaccines that have made it through phase trials and are ready for production. But of course between here and there is a long time, there could be things that go wrong, but the sheer number of vaccines that are entering phase three trials gives me hope that at least one will make it through and show itself to be both safe and effective in preventing COVID-19," said Megan Ranney, director of the Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health during an TV interview on Tuesday.

Jerome Kim, director general of the International Vaccine Institute, also hopes that good signs will appear in the next three or four months, and stressed the importance of vaccine manufacture and distribution.
"It's very important that we have six vaccines entering phase three testing. Phase three, of course, is the stage where we show that a vaccine is both safe and effective, and that's critical. We hope that in the next four months or so, we'll get a signal, an early signal from one of these vaccines that shows that it's actually protecting people against COVID-19 infection, and that will be a very, very important step. But equally important will be being able to manufacture it and then being able to distribute it around the world and to use it to prevent infections wherever they’re occurring," said Kim.

Kim also expressed his concerns about the impact of geopolitical disputes on vaccine distribution, and called for a solution that will ensure all people can have access to the vaccine.

"The thing that concerns me the most is that we aren't coordinated. It needs to go into ensuring that when we have the vaccine, that it isn't going to be a single deal between China and Brazil or a single deal between a U.S. or European based company and a country somewhere in the world. This has to be a solution that will be available to people all over the world, big countries and small countries, rich countries and poor countries," said Kim.

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