The World Health Organization says the young and healthy may have to wait until 2022 to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said Thursday health authorities will likely prioritize health care and frontline workers such as law enforcement and emergency responders, then the elderly.
Swaminathan said she hoped there would at least be one safe and effective vaccine against the novel coronavirus by 2021, but said it would only be available in “limited quantities.”
Over 170 potential COVID-19 vaccines are in various stages of testing around the world, including 10 that have entered late-stage, wide scale human testing. U.S. pharmaceutical giants Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca have recently halted late-stage trials of their experimental vaccines after a volunteer in each study became ill.
The race to develop a coronavirus vaccine comes amid a surge of new infections across Europe, sparking fears the continent is on the verge of a second wave of the outbreak as the winter season nears.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and governors of the country’s 16 states have agreed to impose a new round of nationwide restrictions after posting a record-high 6,638 new cases on Wednesday, including the early closure of bars and restaurants and limiting the number of people allowed to gather in public.
French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday announced a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew for the region of Paris and at least seven other cities, including Lyon, Grenoble, Aix-en-Provence, Montpellier, Lille, Rouen and Saint-Étienne. The curfew will take effect on Saturday and will remain in effect for at least four weeks.
Northern Ireland is taking even more drastic measures, announcing a nationwide four-week lockdown on Wednesday, with schools closed for two weeks and all pubs and restaurants closed for the full month, except for pickup and delivery of food.
And news reports out of London say the British capital is about to be put under the second level of the government’s new three-tiered coronavirus alert system, which designates areas as medium, high and very high risk. The city of Liverpool has been placed under the third and highest tier, forcing officials to close all restaurants and bars.
Liverpool is one of several northern British cities experiencing a dramatic surge of new COVID-19 cases, including Merseyside, Manchester and Newcastle.
The United States is also undergoing a steady rise of new coronavirus cases, averaging well over 50,000 new cases a day in recent weeks. One of those new cases was Barron Trump, the son of President Donald Trump and his wife Melania, who were diagnosed with the disease nearly two weeks ago.
Melania Trump announced the news in a letter released by the White House Wednesday in which she discussed her illness. She said the couple’s teenage son had tested positive shortly after she and the president were diagnosed, but was fortunately asymptomatic. Mrs. Trump said Barron has since tested negative for COVID-19.
Another prominent new coronavirus case is Nick Saban, the head coach of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team. The school announced Wednesday that Saban has tested positive along with Greg Byrne, the school’s athletic director. Saban has led the Crimson Tide, one of the most storied college football programs in the U.S., to five national championships.