The first vaccines against the coronavirus should arrive in the spring of next year, “if all goes well”, predicted today the executive director of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the Italian Guido Rasi.
“It is very difficult, almost impossible, to have the vaccine by 2020. If all goes well, in the first months of 2021 there may be three vaccines approved by the EMA”, Rasi told the information television channel “Skytg24”, quoted by the Spanish news agency EFE.
Rasi clarified that “the first doses for populations at risk should arrive in the spring of 2021, with a significant start of vaccination” and that “the availability of doses will increase very quickly after approval. I think that, if we are lucky, many of the who wish to be vaccinated can do so by the summer of 2021 “, he also predicted.
The director of the EMA stressed that “the arrival of the vaccine will be the beginning of the end of the pandemic, but not the end”, and “that only after one year of available vaccine, will it be known if the pandemic will decrease significantly”.
Asked whether masks can be dispensed when the vaccine arrives, Rasi said that “in principle, certainly not”, adding that it will only be possible to “dispense with distance and masks when the first data on the effectiveness of the vaccine exist”.
These data, he said, will be “the relationship between effectiveness and performance in practice, when you will see how many people respond to the vaccine, its intensity and how long it lasts”. In his opinion, this period “will take at least six months ”.
Regarding the use of different drugs in the treatment of the disease, the EMA director recalled that “there are at least two or three drugs or approaches that, with some certainty, are effective, such as using cortisone at the right time, neither too early nor too early. too late, or use blood thinners “
“Now the possibility of starting to use monoclonal antibodies, which appear to have been used in the White House (for the treatment of US President Donald Trump), is very close,” added Rasi.
The covid-19 pandemic has already caused more than one million and ninety-three thousand deaths and more than 38.5 million cases of infection worldwide, according to a report made by the French agency AFP.
In Portugal, 2,128 people died from 93,294 confirmed cases of infection, according to the most recent bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health.
The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December in Wuhan, a city in central China.
After Europe succeeded China as the center of the pandemic in February, the American continent is now the one with the most confirmed cases and the most deaths.