KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 — Young and healthy individuals may only get a Covid-19 vaccine in 2022 as priority will be given to people at the highest risk of developing severe disease from coronavirus.
World Health Organization (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said that there could be a delay for some among the young and healthy, for over a year, to get a coronavirus vaccine, The Washington Post reported.
“People tend to think, ah, on the first of January or the first of April, I’m going to get a vaccine and then things will be back to normal,” Soumya Swaminathan said.
“It’s not going to work like that. There will be a lot of guidance coming out, but I think an average person, a healthy, young person, might have to wait until 2022 to get a vaccine”
Evidence has suggested that young people are less likely to suffer from serious complications with Covid-19 as compared to older people.
Hence, those who are at the highest risk, which are health care workers and other frontliners, will go first in getting the Covid-19 vaccine, followed by the elderly, or sick.
The chief of immunisation at the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Dr Robin Nandy, said that in the initial years, vaccines will be available in small quantities that will not meet the world’s seven billion population.
He suggested that those providing essential services like health care and education should be among the first to be vaccinated.
“We have to live with the pandemic for a while, so we need these systems to continue,” Dr Nandy said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also does not recommend for children to get the Covid-19 vaccine when it becomes available in the United States, as most of the candidate vaccines have not included people below the age of 18 in their clinical trials.
On October 13, NPR reported that Pfizer has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to include children as young as 12 years old in its clinical trial to study the safety and effectiveness of their candidate vaccine on children and adolescents.