WHO chief says first Covid-19 vaccine could be ready in 18 months

GENEVA: World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the first vaccines for Covid-19 could be ready in 18 months, reported Xinhua news agency.

In the meantime, he tweeted, “there’s a lot we can do to prevent transmission and prepare for any further spread”.

Earlier at a press briefing on Tuesday, he told reporters that while the world needs investment in research and development, “we also need investment in stopping the Covid-19 outbreak now”, adding that the development of vaccines and therapy is an important part of the research agenda.

“We are not defenceless,” he said.

“There are many basic public health interventions that are available to us now, and which can prevent infections now.

“So, we have to do everything today using the available weapons to fight this virus, while preparing for the long term.”