Early Covid-19 vaccines may be imperfect- UK Vaccine Taskforce

Published Oct 29, 2020


CAPE TOWN- As the world eagerly awaits a Covid-19 vaccine, the United Kingdom's Vaccine Taskforce chair, Kate Bingham said that the first generation of Covid-19 vaccines “is likely to be imperfect” and that they “might not work for everyone”.

"Our strategy has been to build a diverse portfolio across different formats to give the UK the greatest chance of providing a safe and effective vaccine, recognising that many, and possibly all, of these vaccines could fail," said Bingham.

Worldwide, there are nearly 200 candidates are in development and late-stage trial results are expected for the first of them by the end of 2020.


Bingham said in an article published in The Lancet medical journal that the Vaccine Taskforce have focused on vaccines that are expected to elicit immune responses in the population older than 65 years. Over three-quarters of deaths caused by Covid-19 occurred within the older population.

"The Covid-19 virus is likely to evolve, and other zoonotic pathogens are likely to pose future risks. China, Europe, the USA, and the UK need to work together. If we establish international collaboration right now, then we will be better prepared to control future pandemics without causing the largest global recession in history and the biggest threat to lives in living memory," she said.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says it doesn’t expect a vaccine to be pushed out this year due to the time it takes to test safety.

“In terms of realistic timelines, we’re really not expecting to see widespread vaccinations until the middle of next year. This Phase 3 must take longer because you need to see how truly protective the vaccine is. You also need to see how safe it is,” said WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris.


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