T of the pandemic could end this year, if about 70 percent of the world gets vaccinated.
“Our expectation is that the acute phase of this pandemic will end this year, of course with one condition, the 70 percent vaccination [target is achieved] by mid this year around June, July,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, told reporters in South Africa on Friday.
“If that is to be done, the acute phase can really end, and that is what we are expecting. It’s in our hands. It’s not a matter of chance. It’s a matter of choice.”
He was speaking during a visit to Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines, which has produced the first mRNA COVID vaccine made in Africa using Moderna’s sequence.
“We expect this vaccine to be more suited to the contexts in which it will be used, with fewer storage constraints and at a lower price,” said the WHO boss.
The vaccine will be ready for clinical trials in November, with approval expected in 2024.
Afrigen is leading the pilot project, backed by the WHO and the COVAX initiative.
Tedros also urged African countries to back efforts to set up an African medicines regulator.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Africa has recorded more than 11 million coronavirus cases, and more than 243,000 deaths. More than 10 million have recovered so far, according to data published by the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.