WHO: Vaccine “might never” come

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom:

On Friday, the Emergency Committee on COVID-19 met and reviewed the current pandemic.

It was a sobering moment coming six months on from when the Committee advised, and I agreed, that the outbreak constituted a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

At the time, 30 January, there were fewer than 100 cases and no deaths outside of China.

When the Committee met three months ago, three million cases of COVID-19 had been reported to WHO, and more than 200,000 deaths.

Since then, the number of cases has increased more than fivefold to 17.5 million, and the number of deaths has more than tripled, to 680,000.

In addition to the direct toll COVID-19 is having, the Committee noted the health impact that disrupted services are having on a range of other diseases.

That compounds what we already know about reduced immunisation coverage, cancer screening and care, and mental health services.

A survey of responses from 103 countries between mid May and early July found that 67 percent of countries report disruption in family planning and contraception services.

More than half of countries reported disruption in antenatal care services and more than a third of countries reported disruption in child birth services.

On top of the health impact, we have seen the damage COVID-19 has caused socially, economically and politically.

The Committee put forward a number of recommendations for countries to continue to implement to bring the virus under control.

These range from sharing best practice, to enhancing political commitment and leadership for national strategies and localized response activities driven by science, data, and experience.

We know from serology studies that most people remain susceptible to this virus, even in areas that have experienced severe outbreaks.

Over the past week we’ve seen several countries that appeared as though they were past the worst now contending with fresh spikes in cases.

However, we’ve also seen how some countries, regions or localities that had a high number of cases are now bringing the outbreak under control.

It’s not easy, of course. Strict measures may cause their own problems for delivery of essential health services, the economy and societies overall.

The Committee acknowledged that Member States have tough choices to make to turn the epidemic around.

But they were also clear that when leaders step up and work intensely with their populations, this disease can be brought under control.

We learn every day about this virus and I’m pleased that the world has made progress in identifying treatments that can help people with the most serious forms of COVID-19 recover.

The Committee recommended that countries engage in the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, participate in relevant clinical trials, and prepare for safe and effective therapeutics and vaccine introduction.

A number of vaccines are now in phase three clinical trials and we all hope to have a number of effective vaccines that can help prevent people from infection.

However, there’s no silver bullet at the moment and there might never be.

For now, stopping outbreaks comes down to the basics of public health and disease control.

Testing, isolating and treating patients, and tracing and quarantining their contacts. Do it all.

Inform, empower and listen to communities. Do it all.

For individuals, it’s about keeping physical distance, wearing a mask, cleaning hands regularly and coughing safely away from others. Do it all.

The message to people and governments is clear: do it all.

And when it’s under control, keep going!

Keep strengthening the health system.

Keep improving surveillance, contact tracing and ensure disrupted health services are restarted as quickly as possible.

Keep safeguards and monitoring in place, because lifting restrictions too quickly can lead to a resurgence.

Keep investing in the workforce and communicating and engaging communities.

We have seen around the world, that it’s never too late to turn this pandemic around.

If we act together today, we can save lives, we can save livelihoods if we do it all together.

In Australia, we have the good fortune of being an island. Let’s eliminate the bastard and then go back to normal.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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  1. Maybe the best we can hope for is an instant test. That way you can test people coming into the country immediately without forcing them to quarantine. You would also need to prove people aren’t positive before they get on the plane/ boat.

    • With 100% reliability, mind.
      Brother tells me his friend with whom he had close contact was confirmed positive last Wed. No symptoms yet. False +?
      This friend’s kids all tested –

      • Over 50% of positive tests are in totally asymptomatic people( imperial college London).
        So, getting a positive test and no symptoms very common.
        Also makes a mockery of only testing symptomatic contacts of known cases, as happened early on in Victoria, and some people are still recommending in nsw.

    • You would also need to prove people aren’t positive before they get on the plane

      Foreign “students” will cheat on this exam too.

      • Foreign “students” will be allowed to cheat on this exam too, bu making is as solid as Swiss cheese.

        Yep, that now sounds right.

  2. kiwikarynMEMBER

    They’ll implement a vaccine even if its a fake one. That way everyone can pretend the pandemic is over, and old people can go back to dying from “pneumonia” like they used to. Once the media stop their daily reporting of virus cases, everyone can just go about their business, and if you were vaccinated but still got Covid then you were “just unlucky”. If you didn’t get vaccinated and got Covid then its your own fault. Either way, the Govt is off the hook.

    • Kiwikaryn,I’ve thought the same thing. Kinda like a giant placebo and the placebo effect has been shown to be real so it’s a win-win for TPTB.

      How about this idea?
      The WHO which is basically the CCP’s flunkie has the inside scoop and knows that China has developed a vaccine (maybe that one they gave to their military) and by declaring now that a cure may be unattainable makes the Chinese look even better when they do announce that they have found the cure. It would go some way to alleviating the huge animosity shown towards China at the moment due to the outbreak of Covid.

      • kiwikarynMEMBER

        50-80% of people with Covid don’t get any symptoms, they dont even know they are sick. For them, it will seem as though the vaccine worked, even if it didnt. For the others who experience mild symptoms, you run the official line that the vaccine simply reduces the severity of the disease, rather than prevent it outright, so for all bar the 5% who end up in hospital, the vaccine will “appear” to be working.

    • Could have been off the hook 2 months ago:

      All of Italy’s victims under 40 have been males with serious existing medical conditions.

      18 May 2020

      Italian shops, hairdressers and restaurants finally threw open their doors on Monday as the country sped up efforts to bounce back from the coronavirus

    • The government will also make whatever cocktail of heavy metals, chemicals and whatever antigen COMPULSORY.
      No JAB, No work.
      No JAB, No Jobkeeper
      No JAB, No Jobseeker
      No JAB, No School

      It wont be one JAB either. They will insist several booster jabs.
      Then they will say its mutated and give you another few jabs each and every year.
      Then they will combine it with whatever seasons flu jab.

      And nobody will be able to tell you whats in it, if its effective and to what rate, if there are any short or long term side effects.
      Not the pharma broker who will sell it to the government.
      Not the government who will sign the deal and make it compulsory.
      Not the doctor who will receive the vials to their practice and
      Not the nurse that will inject your child with it.

      I am not anti-vac. I am vaccinated as is my family of vaccines that have undergone rigorous testing procedures, studies, and the right approval process to go through to manufacturing. We have gone from “Coronaviruses are very large complex structures that mutate and hard to find vaccines for even after decades of studies” to 3 months later ” We have shortlisted 7 potential vaccines from various companies” which are all ready to go by the end of the year.

      I should also point out that all pharma companies are putting in provisions that make them not liable for any side effects or issues with administering the vaccine.

      In many ways this issues for me is worse than the virus itself.

      • that is not true, there are so many diseases where people gain life long immunity after getting infected but no successful vaccine ever got developed (quite a a few childhood diseases fall into this category like mononucleosis, roseola, parvovirus B19, …) or it took a very long period to develop effective and safe vaccine (chickenpox, rubella, measles, … ).
        And in many cases vaccines don’t provide life long immunity while getting infected does (Chickenpox, Diphtheria, Rubella, Hep A, ) or vaccine provides much shorter immunity (whooping cough)

  3. MB readerMEMBER

    I think the ultimate reason why we have to go for elimination is that we need to protect our health care workers. They are a finite and precious resource which will only be able to withstand the relentless grinding of the coronavirus for a limited time. One outbreak after another will eventually inflict heavy damage on their health and morale. In time, there won’t be the medical resources there to address the health issues of everyone.

    • This is very true and its greatly appreciated. Many aneasthetists were very scared before Scomo saved us.
      I’ve actually come around to agreeing with most here that we should keep the semi-lockdown forever.

      • The issue is that half of all citizens / PR have family living abroad and the desire / need to travel fairly frequently is entrenched. Does international travel simply end altogether?

        • BigDuke6MEMBER

          Well exactly Dom.
          I just cant help but be facetious here nowadays.
          The way increasing police powers has been embraced by what should be sensible people is bizarre to me. Bronzed Aussies loving the boot on the neck.
          And its not “let it rip” as some are suggesting here.
          Its isolate the elderly and let the rest of us get on with it. Including travel. Look at Europe

          • The right way forward (whatever that is) will become clear in due course – right now it’s a hysterical bunfight that is polarising whole communities. In the meanwhile I sit on the sidelines and watch with interest.

          • Yeah this would be the right approach if there was some goos info on what the long term impacts of covid are.. what are there 30 something yo with long term effects? How often does that happen?

          • @Big Duke – You call this a boot on the neck? Really? Clearly you have no idea what a boot on the neck is.

            I do, and what is happening in Australia right now isn’t it.

    • Bingo !
      The most often neglected aspect forgotten (or misplaced) by the “little rippers”.
      Health care workers and overall system has been shown OS to not be able to cope, and its only with associated heavy lockdown that they get back on top.
      ICUs over 100% capacity and unable accept other trauma.
      Triaging worst cases, or turning people away. What’s the cut off? Your 55 yr old mum cos the 25 yr old has a great life expectancy ?
      Health care workers and paramedics not available due to illness and at worst dying. No one should be required to work themselves to death in rare cases as has happened.
      Ambulances ramped 50 deep at EDs
      Other patients heavily exposed and likely suceptable old and young.
      Elective surgeries halted
      We ain’t seen nothing.
      If the rippers are prepared to man the front line when it goes to custard, and sacrifice their own, then by all means, watch a family member gurgle their way to a long painful death over a few weeks.
      The “rippers” never quite articulate what they’re prepared to accept.

    • Think how many jobs it would create if our healthcare workers were constantly keeling over. 😉

      And the country’s GDP would go on a tear as the entire economy becomes centred on a monster healthcare sector. What not to love?

      • BigDuke6MEMBER

        Our boomers love healthcare and I love servicing that need. They can’t get enough of it, my last operating list before when they cancelled elective operating was like the last helicopter out of Saigon!

    • Well noted. Ditto our teachers. As recent research shows, infected children have large viral loads and are 100 times more likely to infect others.

      “Another JAMA study released last week found that babies and young children infected with COVID-19 can carry high viral loads in their throats and airways—up to 100 times the amount of adults. The study noted, “Behavioral habits of young children and close quarters in school and day care settings raise concern for SARS-CoV-2 amplification in this population as public health restrictions are eased.”


      Many teachers are over 50. How long can we expect teachers of all ages to keep putting themselves and loved ones in the firing line.

      Those who continually advocate for ‘let-it-rip’ and ‘herd immunity’ despite the evidence these don’t work, also ignore that while some fragile elderly people are in institutionalised care, a huge number are not, and these actively contribute to the community and interact with their families of all ages.

      The elders of a society were once revered and valued for their ability to pass on accumulated wisdom. That so many on MB are prepared to consign them to the dustbin is a sad reflection of a lack of understanding of what constitutes a sound and functioning society.

      • ZevombatMEMBER

        A lot of emergency service volunteers, SES and fire brigades run on older volunteers. This coming bushfire season is going to be a killer

  4. “Get back to normal ” Why would we want to get back to that unsustainable monster? This is the reset the world needs. We all talked about a black swan and now it’s here everyone doesn’t want it.

  5. In Australia, we have the good fortune of being an island. Let’s eliminate the bastard and then go back to normal.

    Not sure Australians are ready to be in stage 5 lockdown for next decade (if very efficient vaccine gets developed) or forever otherwise.
    to declare elimination of an infectious disease a country or a region needs not only prove there were no recorded cases over certain period but also show that huge majority of population is immune to the disease.

    We started vaccinating against polio in late 50s. Two doses of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) are 90% effective or more against polio; three doses are 99% to 100% effective. We had last case of locally acquired wild polio in 1986.

  6. It’ll come, there will be one i assure you of that, it just wont do anything, probably just some sort of harmless concoction they will invent and say it works….they will have to do this so governments have an excuse to re-open borders etc…they have to have something that gives them an reason to get things back to normal….but there will be no vaccine that actually works..

    • It won’t be harmless. They may have side effects. Most early candidate vaccines do.
      The government will have no idea what in it, if its safe, if its effective or if there will be long term effects.

  7. Markets are funny. Some random journalist in a tabloid makes up some wild sh1t about a vaccine by Xmas and the markets shoot up a couple of percent in a day. The head of the WHO says a vaccine might never come, and the markets shoot up a couple of percent in a day.

    It is to laugh.

  8. I guess it’s good to be fluid in terms of the strategy about managing the virus. However I thought the intention (implied) about elimination was to wait things out until a vaccine comes. Now that an effective vaccine may not be coming — some people have thought this the since the beginning mind you — we’re saying to keep going for elimination, which means borders remain closed for……. ever? Travel remains restricted between states for a long time. Periodic lockdowns to keep occurring in the event that there are cracks in the system and the virus gets into the community (which will happen; no system is flawless). Is this “normal”?

    • kiwikarynMEMBER

      We wait until the rest of the world has herd immunity, then we venture forth into it like a 7 year old barefoot, long haired, hemp wearing Byron Bay child called Rainbow starting school.

  9. Aussies Can't Socially Distance

    The world and life as we knew it is over and the penny still hasn’t really dropped.

  10. Andrew PeglerMEMBER

    this should not be political. Let’s learn and grow from all the mistakes not grind to a halt over partisan stuff. Leave that to the declining US. I am finding the Libs outrage here in Vic painful and unhelpful. We need leaders not peanut galleries. Rudy faced shouting is not a solution it’s the wind that divides us.