Dakar, Jan 18 (APS) – Scientists from 130 countries have agreed on the creation, within the World Health Organization (WHO), of a body in charge of exchanges and coordination, worldwide, results of research on the effectiveness and safety of vaccines against Covid-19, we learned from the specialized agency of the United Nations.
These scientists, numbering 2,800, gathered this weekend for a virtual forum aimed at “ identifying knowledge gaps and [à] set the research priorities for vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 ”.
In particular, the researchers discussed ” the safety and [de] the efficacy of existing and experimental vaccines, ways to optimize a limited supply and the need for additional vaccine safety studies, ” said a WHO statement.
“ The development and approval of several safe and effective vaccines, less than a year after the isolation and genetic sequencing of this virus, is an astounding scientific achievement, ” said in his opening remarks Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO.
Getting the first vaccines approved doesn’t mean the job is done. Far from there. Other vaccines are under study, which must be evaluated if we want to have enough doses to vaccinate everyone, ” he said in the statement.
According to him, more than 30 million doses of the vaccine have already been administered in 47 countries, most of them in high income. “But the launch of vaccines across the world has highlighted stark inequalities in access to this vital defense.”
“The spirit of collaboration must prevail in these difficult times when we seek to learn more about this virus,” said Dr John Nkengasong, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Africa.
For Mr. Nkengasong, also quoted in the press release, “ we must be attentive to inequalities and deliberately encourage investment in regional capacities, to offer equal opportunities to all and to conduct effective collaboration, which will allow us to begin to resolve certain problems. ”.
Experts also agreed on the need to “do essential research on vaccine delivery to different target populations, vaccine delivery strategies and schedules.”
This work includes tests, modeling and observational studies which would help guide the action of public and health authorities.
Experts also discussed the impact of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 on vaccine efficacy, the influence of vaccines on the transmission of infection, and the need to develop the next generation of vaccine platforms.
“ We need several vaccines that work in different populations to meet global demand and end the Covid-19 epidemic, ” said the director of the Vaccine Development Center at the University of Maryland ( United States), Mike Levine.
The vaccine should preferably be in single doses, which do not require a cold chain. It can be administered without a needle or syringe and manufactured on a large scale, according to Levine.
This forum was closed by an agreement to create a forum hosted by WHO for the exchange and coordination, at the global level, of the results of research on the efficacy and safety of vaccines.
The meeting allowed scientists to “ exchange ” and “ examine published and unpublished data and research protocols to improve our common knowledge of Covid-19 vaccines. ”
The WHO says it has decided to regularly bring together experts from around the world to encourage collaborative research, provide standard protocols and create a forum in which to exchange the latest knowledge acquired in the field.