The World Health Organization’s top human health official said Friday that a second vaccine is the only way to avoid the spread of an extremely rare coronavirus that could kill thousands.
The vaccine is meant to prevent coronaviruses such as H1N1, but it could also save the lives of children, said Dr. George A. Stavropoulos, the WHO’s top infectious disease expert.
He said the vaccine has been approved in India for use in children under six and has been administered in Africa, South America and Australia.
It is expected to be licensed for use by the end of the year in the United States.
“We are not ruling out any other way,” he said at a briefing in Delhi.
“But until then, it’s a very, very important vaccine that we have been working on.”
Stavropopoulos said the world is in the midst of a global pandemic.
The disease has killed at least 1.2 million people worldwide, with another 400,000 infected, he said.
More:The pandemic has killed more than 6 million people in seven countries and nearly 5 million in Africa.
India has reported an average of about 2,000 new cases of coronavire each day for the past three months, but the World Health Organisation says that number is likely to rise as coronaviring gets better.
Stavampoulos said the virus has mutated rapidly, making it easier to spread in the developed world.
He pointed to the rapid increase in coronavirotic infections in the U.S., which has been especially vulnerable to coronavirin infections.
In India, a study published in the Lancet medical journal last month found that two vaccines produced by GSK-Therapeutics were more effective at preventing coronaviral infections in adults than other vaccines.
A vaccine made by the German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim and one made by Indian pharmaceutical company Bharat Biotech had lower mortality and higher rates of infection, according to the study.GSK said the study was flawed because it relied on an unpublished data set and the results were based on two vaccines with different designs.
But it said the vaccines had similar efficacy and were more efficient than other options for controlling coronavired diseases in adults.
“Our analysis indicates that the efficacy of the two vaccines against coronavires is comparable,” the company said in a statement.
“The vaccine produced by Bharat Bio was the most effective.”In the U