COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine could cost hundreds of millions of dollars and take months WHO

Governments and pharmaceutical giants must urgently begin expensive and risky work developing vaccines against the COVID-19 coronavirus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday, SIA reports.

"Big decisions" need to be taken as vaccines will require “huge investment” and the state sector "will have to take some of the risk with the private sector," Michael Ryan, emergencies director of the WHO said at a daily coronavirus outbreak briefing in Geneva. "It requires hundreds of millions of dollars," he said, and it may be necessary to develop several potential vaccines "without any certainty that one of them will work."

It came as more than 13,000 extra cases were retrospectively confirmed following a change in the way the disease is diagnosed, bringing the official total of people infected worldwide to 63,851, of which 1,380 have died in China. The acceleration in the number of cases does not necessarily represent a sudden surge in new infections of the virus that causes COVID-19 as much as a revised methodology. China's Health Commission has said that the change was aimed at identifying suspected cases in which the patient has pneumonia so they can be treated more quickly and reduce the likelihood of more serious illness or death.

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