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Phase 3 vaccine trials ‘no silver bullet’ for virus: WHO

GENEVA (AA): Despite several vaccines now in phase three clinical trials for COVID-19, there is currently no silver bullet, and there might never be, for the virus, the head of the WHO said Monday.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said several countries that had appeared to be past the worst in the last week are now contending with fresh spikes in infections.

However, some countries, regions, or localities that recorded high numbers of cases, are now bringing the outbreak under control, said the WHO chief at a twice-weekly press webinar.

“A number of vaccines are now in phase three clinical trials, and we all hope to have several effective vaccines that can help prevent people from infection,” said Tedros,

“However, there’s no silver bullet at the moment, and there might never be.”

The WHO says there is currently no vaccine to prevent the coronavirus. There are 139 candidate vaccines in the preclinical evaluation and 25 in clinical assessment.

Tedros said stopping outbreaks depends on implementing the basics of public health and disease control.

“Testing, isolating and treating patients, and tracing and quarantining their contacts. Do it all. Inform, empower, and listen to communities,” said Tedros.

He recommended wearing a mask when appropriate, keeping a physical distance from others, avoiding crowded places, observing coughing etiquette, cleaning hands frequently, “and you’ll be protecting yourself and others,” said the WHO head.

Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resources Center in the US said there were more than 18.11 million COVID-19 cases, over 690,000 deaths, with recoveries exceeding 10.73 million worldwide.

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