World Health Organization (WHO) Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan on Friday said that the organisation would require funding of up to $18.1 billion to deliver two billion doses by the end of 2021. Swaminathan also stated there are hopes that the vaccines will be ready in 12 -18 months.
More than 200 vaccine candidates are at different stages of development and 15 are in human clinical trials, Swaminathan added.
"At the moment, we do not have a proven vaccine but if we are lucky, there will be one or two successful candidates before the end of this year," Swaminathan said while addressing the media from Geneva.
In a virtual media conference, Swaminathan stated that AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine candidate is the most advanced vaccine currently in terms of development, she said.
As per the chief scientist of the UN-run health organisation, the pharma company has more global scope at the moment in terms of where they are doing and planning their vaccine trials. Swaminathan said. "They have advanced into phase 2 trials and are planning phase 3 in many countries. Moderna also has plans to go to phase 3 of clinical trials by mid-July."
"However, until we see results from clinical trials, the efficacy and safety of these candidates remain unknown. Hence, this underlines the need to invest in clinical development of multiple vaccine candidates and maximising chances of success," she added.