World Health Organization holds briefing on coronavirus pandemic

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The World Health Organization is holding a briefing Thursday on the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 15 million people worldwide and killed at least 623,800, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Earlier this week, the WHO applauded newly published data by researchers at Oxford University and AstraZeneca on a potential coronavirus vaccine. The Oxford researchers said the vaccine produced antibodies and killer T-cells to combat the infection that lasted at least two months.

“It is good news,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s emergencies program, said Monday. “In generating T-cell responses and generating neutralizing antibodies, this is a positive result. But again, there is a long way to go. We now need to move into larger-scale real-world trials.”

Public health officials say there is no returning to “normal” until there is a vaccine. Ryan said Monday there are 23 vaccine candidates in clinical development, and until Monday, only one had produced phase one data available in a peer-reviewed journal.

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