A professor at Imperial College London claims there may never be avaccine 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 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 vaccine. 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.