Senior UK scientist: Coronavirus ‘will be with us forever’
LONDON: Coronavirus “will be with us forever in some form or another, and almost certainly will require repeated vaccinations,” a senior UK government scientific adviser warned on Saturday.
“A bit like flu, people will need re-vaccination at regular intervals,” said Sir Mark Walport, a member of the UK’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies.
In order to control the pandemic, “global vaccination” will be required, but coronavirus is not a disease that “could be eradicated by vaccination,” he added.
Walport’s comments came just after Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, said the pandemic could be over within two years, in large part due to advances in medicine and technology.
“A vaccine will be a vital tool, and we hope that we will have one as soon as possible,” Ghebreyesus said.
But like Walport, he warned: “Even if we do have a vaccine, it won’t end the pandemic on its own.”
Ghebreyesus said to control the spread of the virus, everyone has a responsibility within their own societies to “understand what they can do to protect themselves and others.”
Global coronavirus deaths passed 800,000 on Saturday, with over 23 million recorded cases. The latest figures show steep rises in cases for many countries, including some that initially appeared to have the virus under control.
The global race to develop an effective vaccine continues, with teams in the US, the UK and China receiving vast sums of money to aid their research.
Russia claims to have developed a working vaccine, and in an attempt to allay concerns over its safety, is set to begin testing it on 40,000 people.