The Covid vaccine may not be ready for another year, Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty warns when he says he would be "surprised" if we had one by Christmas
- Whitty said Saturday that there is a "reasonable chance" of vaccination before next winter
- He warned that Covid-19 could cause "real problems" this winter.
- Whitty advised the country to plan like there was no vaccine
Chris Whitty, England's chief medical officer, said a vaccine for the coronavirus might not be ready until next winter and he would be "surprised" if we had one by Christmas.
Whitty told reporters on Saturday it was "stupid" to plan for winter based on a vaccine, but there was a "reasonable chance" that one could be made available before winter 2021-2022.
He warned there would be "real problems" with Covid-19 in the winter and said the country should plan on the basis that no vaccine is available.
Prof. Whitty added, “I would of course be happy if it came sooner rather than later, but I would be quite surprised if we could find a highly effective vaccine for a large percentage of the population before the end of winter, certainly sooner Mass use ready would have this side of Christmas.
UK chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty (pictured in June) said it would be "stupid" to plan winter based on a coronavirus vaccine
"Well, that may be wrong, a lot of people are doing a lot scientifically and logistically to make sure this is a pessimistic statement, to try to see if we can get a vaccine at an extraordinarily fast rate, but we have to check that it works and we have to make sure that it is safe and that these things take time.
“I think if we look forward to a year the chances are much greater than if we look forward to six months, and we have to consider that kind of timescale.
“So if we are planning for next winter it would be stupid to plan on the basis that we will have a vaccine.
“We should plan on the basis that we don't have a vaccine. If one turns out to be effective, safe, and available, we will be in a strong position to use it and that will be great, but we should plan based on what we have now. & # 39;
In the long term, I'm confident that science can get us out of this hole, but I don't think we can expect this to happen in the next few weeks or even in the next few months
But Prof. Whitty said he was confident that science could help fight the virus, but it won't be for the next few weeks or months.
He added, "I'm confident in the long term that science can get us out of this hole, but I don't think we can expect this to happen in the next few weeks or even in the next few months."
Pictured: Volunteer Yash is injected with the vaccine as part of a vaccine study at Imperial College in a clinic in London in early August. Whitty told reporters on Saturday that there was a "reasonable chance" that vaccines against the virus could be available before winter 2021-2022
His comments to reporters come as he joined the UK chief and assistant chief medical officer for a joint statement on reopening schools and childcare.
When asked if there were any decisions he would have made differently earlier in the pandemic, Prof. Whitty said "of course," but plans had to be made with the information available.
He added: "There is a long list of things that, of course, if we had known at the beginning what we now know about this virus, how it works and how the initial epidemic started, we would of course have done differently, and we knew then that it would be easier to plan in retrospect, but you have to plan with the information that is available to you, but yes, of course. & # 39;
When asked if the land should have been locked sooner, Prof. Whitty said there was "a wide range of views" on the subject, but they were not helpful in planning ahead.
He added, "I'm very happy to give a long and rather lengthy math answer, but I think we'll go through this in due course, but that doesn't actually help us plan ahead, and that's what I do and…" my colleagues are really focusing on it critically at the moment. & # 39;
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