No guarantee of vaccine and people must adapt ‘for foreseeable future,’ warns virus expert
19 April 2020, 08:32
People around the world must be prepared to alter their lives "for the foreseeable future" as there is no guarantee of a successful covid-19 vaccine, a prominent expert on the disease has said.
David Nabarro, professor of global health at Imperial College London and an envoy for the World Health Organisation on Covid-19, told The Observer newspaper that people around the globe will have to adapt to the ongoing threat of coronavirus.
"You don't necessarily develop a vaccine that is safe and effective against every virus. Some viruses are very, very difficult when it comes to vaccine development," Dr Nabarro told the paper.
"So for the foreseeable future, we are going to have to find ways to go about our lives with this virus as a constant threat.
"That means isolating those who show signs of the disease and also their contacts. Older people will have to be protected. In addition, hospital capacity for dealing with cases will have to be ensured. That is going to be the new normal for us all."
His comments come as researchers around the world desperately work on developing a vaccine.
A new Belgian study shows antibodies obtained from llama blood can help neutralise the coronavirus responsible for Covid-19.
With lab rats and mice having also been used in coronavirus research, South Korean scientists say ferrets could have a role to play in testing vaccines too because when infected with Covid-19 they responded similarly to humans, the Times said.
Meanwhile, former health secretary Jeremy Hunt says the pandemic has shown the need for countries to work together in a new global health system involving better co-operation between governments.
Mr Hunt told The Observer global health security would now be "on that small but critical list" of issues, such as climate change, that can only be solved through international working.