Geneva, September 4: The World Health Organisation (WHO) does not expect wide scale vaccination against COVID-19 in most parts of the world before the second half of next year. The prediction by the global health body comes amid claims made by leading vaccine candidates of releasing the"silver bullet" against coronavirus by 2020-end or early next year. COVID-19 Vaccine Update: Russia to Start Mass Vaccination of People Vulnerable to Coronavirus in November or December.

A WHO spokesperson, who spoke to news agency Reuters on Friday, said the penetration of vaccines will take time even after they are declared safe to be released. The official claimed that the Organisation does not expect a widespread vaccination drive until mid-2021.

The estimate by the WHO comes a day after the UNICEF - an arm of the United Nations - said it will play a proactive role in smoothening the supply chain and ensuring last mile availability of the vaccine in the developing countries.

"Covax" or the strategy for fair distribution of the vaccine is being worked upon by 76 leading nations. As per the plan, the "rich countries" are expected to ensure supply of vaccine to low-income and emerging nations at a subsidised rate.

The global count of coronavirus cases has crossed 2.6 billion, whereas, the death toll has surged past 873,000. The numbers are expected to further rise, as several nations including India - with world's second highest population - are recording a constant surge in the per-day count of infections.

With most countries struggling to develop a herd immunity against the disease, the vaccine against coronavirus is considered as the most optimal solution to emerge out of the pandemic. The vaccine shots being developed by Oxford University-Astrazeneca, Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna Inc are considered as among the most promising candidates.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 04, 2020 04:20 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website