Work is underway to develop second generation COVID-19 vaccines: Expert


Published: 2021-04-04 13:37

Last Updated: 2021-09-24 00:13

Work is underway to develop second generation COVID-19 vaccines: Expert
Work is underway to develop second generation COVID-19 vaccines: Expert

Sunday, a doctor at the Royal Hospital in London Ahmed Al-Mashtat said work is currently underway to develop a second generation of coronavirus vaccines, to be ready next fall.

He added that Oxford University and Pfizer are conducting research for the second generation of COVID-19 vaccines to "stand in the face of any new wave of the coronavirus epidemic," which may be caused by virus mutations.

He stressed that full safety cannot be achived in any country in the world, unless everyone in every country gets vaccinated. He added that even though 60 percent of people in Britain have been vaccinated, the country remains closed and people cannot travel normally, because Britain's immunity has not been achieved in other countries and therefore, they must be careful  to prevent the virus from spreading again.

He explained that fairness in the distribution of vaccines is essential and spoke about the term 'vaccine nationalism'. He pointed out that the world needs 11 billion doses of different approved vaccines, to vaccinate 5.8 billion people, which is a huge number that vaccine companies cannot provide within a short period of time. Therefore 'war arose' behind closed doors to control the vaccine market, and some countries 'attempted to monopolize it' and prevented its arrival in poor countries, he said.

Mashtat believes the world needs four years to 'get this pandemic under control by vaccinating all people'. He noted that people need to continue receiving the vaccine during the seasons in which COVID-19 spreads.

He said the world will not get rid of this virus but, as research regarding medicines and vaccines advances, the virus will no longer be as fatal as it is today.

He noted that Britain is already planning to administer elderly citizens over 70 years of age with a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in September. The aim is to provide them with additional immunity before the winter season.

He stressed the need for all countries to look back on their experiences and reassess their decisions to avoid repeating failed experiences. He provided an example saying Britain failed to provide the necessary medical supplies at the beginning of the pandemic including face masks. He added that the UK imposed closures later than it should, which is why the first wave was 'very dangerous'. Additionally, there was a shortage of hospital beds and absence of field hospitals, he said.

Regarding the rumors related to the AstraZeneca vaccine, Mashtat said that it is a safe vaccine and 80 percent effective. This percentage means that 80 percent of those who receive this vaccine will not develop any symptoms if they contract COVID-19 and 20 percent will develop minor symptoms. Additionally, the rate of hospitalization due to COVID-19 and deaths 'will reach zero', he said.

He indicated that among the 18 million citizens who received the vaccine in Britain, 30 people suffered from blood clotting issues. He noted that this is a very small percentage in comparison with other medicines, including contraceptive pills. He pointed out that coronavirus is 'the biggest cause of blood clots'.