"It's going to be a while," before Covid-19 vaccine release, warns scientist

16 August 2020, 08:59

By Seán Hickey

This health expert warned that we should not be relying on a Covid-19 vaccine to eradicate the virus, and we won't have it for some time in any case.

Dr Lindsay Broadbent from Queen's University Belfast Centre for Infection and Immunity warned Andrew Castle that "what we have to remember is that this vaccine is not going to come tomorrow, it's not going to be next week or next month.

"It's going to be a while and we need to bear that in mind."

She went on to tell him that the vaccine "may end up being much more like the flu vaccine, where if you take it, you may still get the flu but the severity will be much much less," and we should consider this rather than count on a jab being a complete solution to the pandemic.

Andrew said that another expert predicted a vaccine to be available in April 2021 and asked Dr Broadbent if she wanted to take a guess. The immunity expert hinted that April is an optimistic guess.

She added to the worry about a vaccine, telling Andrew that the 90 million vaccines the government have secured will be going to those most at risk.

"Everyone is not going to receive the vaccine all at once," she said.

Dr Broadbent warned it will be a long time before a vaccine comes on stream
Dr Broadbent warned it will be a long time before a vaccine comes on stream. Picture: PA

Andrew wondered if people will grow tired of local lockdowns and working from home as time goes on and we may see more people flouting rules.

Dr Broadbent said that when balancing the health of your friends and relatives against briefly missing out on some freedoms, "that's a very easy question to answer," and she didn't think there would be a major issue as time goes on.

"The focus here is on deaths and severe disease," she reminded listeners, and as the world still learns about the pandemic, "we do need to adapt and learn how to live with this."

"We need to adjust our lives to learn to live with it and live as safely as possible," she reiterated.

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