(SCMP.COM) – Do not expect there to be enough Covid-19 vaccines for life to return to normal until 2022, World Health Organisation (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan predicted on Tuesday.
Swaminathan said the WHO's Covax initiative, the resource-pooling mechanism to provide equitable vaccine access to countries with differing income levels, would only be able to garner around hundreds of millions doses by the middle of next year, meaning each of the some 170 countries or economies that have joined "will have something."
But the number of doses will be too small to change the need for social distancing and mask wearing until production is increased and reaches the goal of 2 billion by the end of 2021.
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"The way that people are picturing it is that in January you have vaccines for the whole world and things will start going back to normal – it is not how it works," she said.