WHO chief: There may never be 'silver bullet' for coronavirus

WHO chief: There may never be 'silver bullet' for coronavirus
© Getty images

The leader of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned Monday there may never be a "silver bullet" for defeating COVID-19. 

"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," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a media briefing. "However, there’s no silver bullet at the moment and there might never be." 

He urged countries to continue testing, isolating and treating COVID-19 patients and tracing and quarantining their contacts as a means of stopping the pandemic. 


Individuals should keep physical distance when in public, wear masks and regularly wash their hands, he added. 

There are six potential COVID-19 vaccines in phase three trials — the final phase that will determine whether a vaccine is safe and effective. 

Moderna, in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, just launched its phase three trial for a potential COVID-19 vaccine last week. 

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: CDC reverses controversial testing guidance | Billions more could be needed for vaccine distribution | Study examines danger of in-flight COVID-19 transmission Trump claims enough COVID-19 vaccines will be ready for every American by April Gates says travel ban made COVID-19 worse in US MORE, the nation's top infectious disease expert and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Congress last week he is "cautiously optimistic" a vaccine will be approved by the end of the year. 

“There's never a guarantee that you're going to get a safe and effective vaccine, but from everything we've seen now in the animal data, as well as the early human data, we feel cautiously optimistic that we will have a vaccine by the end of this year and as we go into 2021,” Fauci told the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis led by House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.).