"We're not out of the woods" even with a Covid-19 vaccine, virologist warns

2 August 2020, 09:57

We can't be complacent in coronavirus battle, says Dr Chris Smith

By Seán Hickey

This virus expert warned that even with a coronavirus vaccine, we have a challenging task in overcoming the pandemic.

"The Naked Scientist" Dr Chris Smith is Consultant Virologist at Adam Brooks Hospital and was speaking to Andrew Castle about the challenges facing us as the world comes to terms with living with coronavirus.

Andrew spoke about the "repurposing of already existing drugs" such as Dexamethasone in treating Covid-19 and went to the topic of a vaccine. He wondered where Dr Smith thought we were in developing an effective vaccine.

The virologist warned that developing the vaccine is a massive project that has the odds stacked against it. "We've never made a vaccine against a coronavirus that works, we've never made a vaccine in under ten months...and we've never tried to vaccinate the entire world's population," he said, although maintaining confidence in the vaccine being developed.

Dr Smith warned that the effort will be for nothing if we cannot achieve global immunity with a vaccine. "If we don't help every country, it'll just come back from those poorer countries."

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"Even if we do get a vaccine, we're not out of the woods," he said, adding that "if Covid is anywhere, it's everywhere because it'll just keep coming back."

He stressed again that "the data is suggesting that this will work, the question is how long is it going to work for."

"We are learning a lot, we have learned a lot in just a few months about this virus," Dr Smith said, maintaining his confidence in the vaccine and research being put in to fighting the virus.

He told Andrew that "we've got a lot better," in living through the pandemic, but reminded listeners that "we must not be complacent."