It may take several tries to find right COVID-19 vaccine, PAHO director says
By Julia Symmes Cobb BOGOTA (Reuters) - It may take several tries to find the right vaccine for COVID-19, the Pan American Health Organization's (PAHO) director Carissa Etienne said on Wednesday, as she urged countries to begin preparing vaccination plans. Global reported infections of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, are climbing toward 32 million, according to a Reuters tally, while deaths approach 1 million. Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are reporting about a million new infections every two weeks.
By Julia Symmes Cobb
BOGOTA (Reuters) - It may take several tries to find the right vaccine for COVID-19, the Pan American Health Organization's (PAHO) director Carissa Etienne said on Wednesday, as she urged countries to begin preparing vaccination plans.
Global reported infections of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, are climbing toward 32 million, according to a Reuters tally, while deaths approach 1 million. Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are reporting about a million new infections every two weeks.
"We hope scientists do uncover an effective vaccine that offers lasting protection against COVID but it may take a few tries before we find the right one," Etienne said during PAHO's weekly virtual press conference.
"Early vaccines may only provide partial protection or may not work for everyone. We don't yet know which vaccine will be found safe and effective and how it will work," she said.
Participation in the global COVID-19 vaccine facility known as COVAX is the best way for countries to protect those at severe risk of the disease, Etienne said.
Fourteen countries in the region have agreed to self-finance their participation in the program, Etienne said, while another 10 are eligible for cost support. A further 13 have said they intend to participate, she added.
Some countries missed the program's initial deadline, but said over the weekend they would commit as soon as possible.
"We do know that if we don't prepare now, we will miss the opportunity to benefit from (a vaccine) quickly," she said. "Countries cannot wait to have all of the answers before they start planning and preparing to deliver a COVID vaccine."
National regulators will need to swiftly asses and approve vaccines without cutting corners, Etienne said, adding PAHO was already in contact with regulators.
Influenza could put additional pressure on health systems around the region, PAHO Assistant Director Jarbas Barbosa said, recommending countries seek widespread coverage with influenza vaccines.
(Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.