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    First vaccine trial for COVID-19 has started, WHO says

    MANILA, Philippines – With the coronavirus infected more than 230,000 globally and with nearly 10,000 deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially announced Friday, March 20, that the first vaccine trial has started.
    First vaccine trial for COVID-19 has started, WHO says

    In the daily COVID-19 situation report, WHO said "The first vaccine trial has begun just 60 days after the genetic sequence of the virus was shared by China. This is an incredible achievement."

    WHO is now working with scientists across the globe on at least 20 different coronavirus vaccines in a global race for cure.

    SEE ALSO: DOH reports 32 new coronavirus cases, 5 patients recover

    "To ensure clear evidence of which treatments are most effective, WHO and its partners are
    organizing a large international study, called the Solidarity Trial, in many countries to compare different treatments," WHO added.

    But WHO officials cautioned that vaccines are still a long way from being available for public use. It could take up to 18 months with the needed safety approvals.

    "There’s only one thing more dangerous than a bad virus and that’s a bad vaccine,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s emergencies program said.

    “We have to be very, very, very careful in developing any product that we’re going to inject into potentially most of the world’s population,” Ryan added.

    SEE ALSOPROFILE: Philippines' COVID-19 recoveries

    Once the vaccine testing is done and approved, another major concern will be the logistical, financial and ethical hurdles.

    “Even if we get a vaccine that’s effective, we have to have that vaccine that’s available for everybody. There has to be fair and equitable access to that vaccine for everybody,” Ryan said, adding the world won’t be protected from the coronavirus unless everybody is vaccinated.

    “How do we ensure we get enough of that vaccine in time, how do we ensure, how do we ensure we can distribute that vaccine to populations all over the world and how do we convince people to take the vaccine.”

    — The Summit Express

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