The world may have to live with Covid for years to come: Imperial College London scientist warns vaccine may NEVER be created and outbreaks and lockdowns could become the norm
- Dr David Nabarro said ‘high hopes’ for a Covid vaccine are likely to be ‘dashed’
- Imperial College professor warned lockdowns could occur in future outbreaks
- Oxford University is racing to test a vaccine made from a chimpanzee virus
- UK Government is unveiling ‘whack-a-mole’ lockdown exit strategy to public
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
A professor at Imperial College London claims there may never be a coronavirus vaccine and that governments will be left to respond to future outbreaks of the pathogen with regional or national lockdowns.
Dr David Nabarro, a special envoy to the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Covid-19, said no ‘absolute assumption’ can be made ‘that a vaccine will appear at all’.
The global health professor argued that ‘high hopes’ are ‘dashed’ because scientists are ‘dealing with biological systems, we’re not dealing with mechanical systems’.
He added that restrictions to movement ‘may apply to parts of a country, or it may even apply to a whole country’ in the face of another outbreak.
Dr David Nabarro, a special envoy to the World Health Organisation, said no ‘absolute assumption’ can be made ‘that a vaccine will appear at all’ (pictured, in Geneva, January 2017)
The professor said lockdowns ‘may apply to parts of a country, or it may even apply to a whole country’ in a future outbreak (pictured, an Aylesbury shop selling face masks, May 1, 2020)
Dr Nabarro’s intervention comes as the British public increasingly turn to scientists under huge pressure to develop a vaccine for an end to the pandemic.
Already a team at Oxford University are racing to test a vaccine made from a chimpanzee virus. In the US, scientists are trying a different antidote.
Ministers have signalled that the quarantining of the elderly would only occur if a vaccine were developed. It is estimated this could take at least one year.
Dr Nabarro, who has warned that people can expect to wear face masks in the future, told CNN:‘ There are some viruses that we still do not have vaccines against.
‘We can’t make an absolute assumption that a vaccine will appear at all, or if it does appear, whether it will pass all the tests of efficacy and safety.
Dr Nabarro of Imperial College London argued ‘high hopes’ are ‘dashed’ because scientists are ‘dealing with biological systems, not mechanical systems’ (pictured, in Geneva, May 2017)
Dr Nabarro’s intervention comes as the British public increasingly turn to scientists under huge pressure to develop a vaccine for an end to the pandemic (pictured, a car driving through a coronavirus test centre at Leicester City’s King Power Stadium, May 2, 2020)
‘You have high hopes, and then your hopes are dashed.
‘We’re dealing with biological systems, we’re not dealing with mechanical systems. It really depends so much on how the body reacts.’
Dr Nabarro suggested that lockdowns, many of which are in the process of gradually being lifted by governments, could be implemented at any moment.
‘From time to time there will be outbreaks,’ he said. ‘Movement will be restricted and that may apply to parts of a country, or it may even apply to a whole country.’
Michael Gove told a coronavirus press briefing of the Government’s so-called ‘whack-a-mole’ policy, which involves gradually easing the lockdown.
Restrictions can be quickly snapped back into effect in light of future outbreaks.
The UK has announced 315 new coronavirus deaths today, bringing total fatalities to 28,446
A new interactive map lays bare the coronavirus postcode lottery and reveals sprawling areas in Wales, the South West and East England which have recorded zero deaths
Imperial College London encouraged the Government to pursue a lockdown after it projected that half a million people could die if no action was taken.
It has led to the furloughing of millions of workers and the closure of huge swathes of the economy – chiefly in food, retail, hospitality, travel, and manufacturing.
Cabinet Ministers are quick to say that the lockdown has saved lives. So far, no concrete proof backing the claim has been presented.
Meanwhile, economists have estimated that the policy could be costing Britain £2.4billion per day. Others say the economic crisis is the most severe in 100 years.
Economists have estimated that the policy could be costing Britain £2.4billion per day (pictured, a deserted Oxford high street during Week Six of lockdown, May 2, 2020)
A Bank of England official recently warned that the UK economy is facing an extreme contraction, the likes of which may not have been felt in centuries.
The spiralling crisis has led to the repeated intervention of Lord Sumption, one of Britain’s most distinguished historians and jurists.
In a piece for the Mail on Sunday, Lord Sumption called the continued locking up of the elderly a ‘cruel mockery of basic human values’.
He criticised the Government’s ‘blind panic following the delivery of Imperial College London’s Professor Neil Ferguson’s statistical projections’.
Lord Sumption also took to task the ‘money question’. ‘People decry attempts to measure the mortality of Covid-19 against the economic cost of reducing it,’ he writes. ‘But this too is rhetoric, and hypocritical rhetoric at that.
‘Money is not just for plutocrats. You and I and the editor of The Guardian and the driver of the No 9 bus and the Archbishop of Canterbury and the cashier at the supermarket all value and depend on money.
‘Not just in the sense that it pays our wages or pensions. Hundreds of thousands of businesses are going under. Millions are moving from jobs to universal credit. A thriving economy, of the kind that we are now throwing away, is the source of our security and the foundation of our children’s future.
‘We would do well not to sneer at it. Poverty kills too. And when it does not kill, it maims, mentally, physically, and socially.’
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