As more people are being diagnosed with the deadly coronavirus disease, global leaders are being warned of a potential pandemic. Professor in Medicine at Norwich Medical School Paul Hunter explained the earliest a reliable vaccine could be developed is late 2020 or early 2021. While speaking to BBC host Simon McCoy the medical expert claimed after a successful vaccine is developed, not everyone would be able to have it straightaway.
He noted it will likely only be administered to those who were most vulnerable to the disease and the introduction of the vaccine is unlikely to stop the rapid infection rate of COVID-19.
Mr McCoy asked: “Will vaccines be available in time to prevent a full pandemic?
“We are talking days aren’t we before that is going to be called now, aren’t we?”
Mr Hunter answered: “We don’t know when the coronavirus goes past the point where we are no longer able to control it globally.
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“I suspect the earliest we are going to see a reliable vaccine will be towards the very end of this year maybe early next year.
“It is certainly plausible that by then this disease would have burned itself out although personally I doubt that.
“I suspect the coronavirus will run well into next year if not beyond.
“Even with the early vaccines, there won’t be enough vaccines to really affect the spread of the disease.
“What will happen is that we will use those vaccines in the same way we use influenza vaccines.
“We will use the coronavirus vaccine to protect the most vulnerable.
“This will be the most elderly people and also medical and nursing staff who are going to be some of the most likely to get the illness.”
World Health Organisation (WHO) Director Tedros Adhanom attacked world leaders for inadequately preparing for a pandemic but spending billion on terrorist attack protection earlier this month.
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He insisted a pandemic gone unchecked could prove more deadly and dangerous than any terrorist attack.
He also claimed leaders needed to take the opportunity to intensify their efforts against the coronavirus before the situation becomes more dire outside of China.
He said: “We throw money at an outbreak and when it is over we forget about it and do nothing to prevent the next one.
“The world spends billions of dollars preparing for a terrorist attack but relatively little preparing for the attack of a virus.”
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