The World Health Organization warned that a coronavirus vaccine may not be ready for widespread use until the middle of 2021, contradicting assurances by President Donald Trump that a vaccine would be ready by November, CNBC reported.
WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris told a U.N. briefing in Geneva that none of the vaccines currently undergoing testing have been confirmed to be at least 50 percent effective, which is the minimum required for an inoculation to be considered a viable option.
"We are really not expecting to see widespread vaccination until the middle of next year," she said. "This phase 3 must take longer because we need to see how truly protective the vaccine is and we also need to see how safe it is."
"A lot of people have been vaccinated and what we don't know is whether the vaccine works...at this stage we do not have the clear signal of whether or not it has the level of worthwhile efficacy and safety," she added.
However, on August 6, Trump told Americans that they could expect a COVID-19 inoculation by the election in November.
Critics have pushed back on that claim, saying that Trump was rushing the vaccine for political reasons, and that creating one in under a year would be considered an impressive feat.
Russia has created a COVID-19 vaccine and is ready to release it more widely after just two months of human testing, which experts says is inadequate. However, some early trials appear to show that the medication is having a positive impact on people impacted by the virus, as The Inquisitr previously reported.
Meanwhile, Pfizer, along with members of the Trump administration, said that it was likely that a vaccine could be ready for distribution in the U.S. as early as the end of October. However, most Americans won't receive an immunization until the middle of next year, even if one is approved earlier, a separate report from CNBC claimed.
The WHO is overseeing a project known as COVAX that will help prioritize and distribute a vaccine if and when it is ready. The project will purchase and allocate vaccinations across the globe with a focus on those who are deemed most high-risk, such as people who work in the health care industry.
Their aim is to have 2 billion doses ready to distribute by the end of 2021.
The U.S. and some other countries have declined to participate in the program, instead, opting to work independently of the health organization.
"Essentially, the door is open. We are open. What the COVAX is about is making sure everybody on the planet will get access to the vaccines," Harris said.