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Image / Editorial

Experts say Covid-19 vaccine could be ready “by Christmas”

by Jennifer McShane
18th Oct 2020

In what is a ray of positive news, the chairwoman of the UK Vaccine Taskforce has said there are reasons to be optimistic for a Covid vaccine by the end of the year for at least some of society 

Kate Bingham told Sky News that while things were optimistic,  a vaccine will not be “a silver bullet” that would allow life to get back to normal overnight.

She said she was optimistic that a vaccine would be found that would “protect some people from infection and can reduce the severity of symptoms”.

But she said it was “very unlikely” to be a single jab and that ongoing revaccination would be needed – probably every few years.

She also warned that it was unlikely to protect everyone from infection, with the most vulnerable likely getting it first.

More than one vaccine

There are currently hundreds of vaccine trials being carried out around the world, including six possible vaccines that are being developed in the UK. The Oxford vaccine has made the most progress so far.

Sir Jeremy Farrar, who sits on the SAGE committee in the UK also said separately that he felt 2021 was a more optimistic timeframe for more than one vaccine to be produced: “I think in the first quarter of next year we will have vaccines – will have more than one vaccine.”

On this side of the pond, Epidemiologist Professor Luke O’Neill also reiterated his optimism for a potential vaccine by the end of the year. The Irish Times reported that he suggested the data coming from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is “very promising.”

Pfizer has said it expects emergency authorisation use in the United States for its Covid-19 vaccine by the third week of November.

He also added that Barclay’s Investment Bank has looked at the data and is predicting three vaccines approved by Christmas and five more in the middle of next year.

While nothing is definitive, to hear such news is promising in the very least; that we might have something to help us live amongst the virus in a more manageable way.

Main photograph: Pexels

Read more: ‘I was in limbo for months’: what it’s like to start a new job during Covid-19

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