The promise of COVID-19 vaccines is “phenomenal” and “potentially game-changing”, World Health Organization European director Hans Kluge said on Thursday, a day after Britain became the first Western country to approve a shot, APA reports citing Reuters.
Britain approved Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine, developed with Germany’s BioNTech, outpacing the world in the race to begin the most crucial mass inoculation programme in history.
Speaking from Copenhagen, Kluge said vaccine supplies would be very limited at first and that countries must decide who gets priority, though the WHO also cited “growing consensus” that first recipients should be older people, medical workers and people with other diseases, as Britain plans.
The new coronavirus still had the potential to do “enormous damage”, Kluge said, but “the future looks brighter” as other vaccine candidates, including from Moderna and AstraZeneca, have also delivered positive trial results.
“The more candidates we have, the more opportunities for success,” Kluge told a news briefing. “Vaccines, combined with other public health measures, bring the end of an acute phase of the pandemic and the rebuilding of economies within reach.”