The new Covid-19 vaccines, including ones that don’t require needles and can be stored at room temperature, maybe ready for use later this year or next year, World Health Organization’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said.
Six-to-eight new immunization drives may complete clinical studies and undergo regulatory review by the end of the year, Soumya Swaminathan, the Geneva-based agency’s chief scientist, said in an interview.
New vaccines will add to the 10 already shown to work within a year of Covid-19 being declared a pandemic. The world needs more immunizations, especially as the virus’s continuous circulation spawns dangerous new variants and drug makers struggle to meet orders. Only 122 countries have started immunizing people, according to data collected by Bloomberg.
“We’re thrilled with the vaccines that we have," said Swaminathan, an Indian paediatrician best known for her research on tuberculosis and HIV. But “we can improve further," she said. “I think we’re going to see the emergence of improved vaccines in 2022."
The current crop of experimental vaccines use alternative technologies and delivery systems and include more single-shot inoculations, and vaccines that are administered orally, via a nasal spray, and through the skin using a type of patch. These could bring immunizations that are better suited to specific groups, such as pregnant women, according to Swaminathan.