Don't worry about Covid vaccine development speed, says leading GP

8 February 2021, 20:51 | Updated: 8 February 2021, 21:07

Don't worry about Covid vaccine development speed, says leading GP
Don't worry about Covid vaccine development speed, says leading GP. Picture: PA/LBC

By Sam Sholli

Leading GP Dr Sarah Jarvis has broken down why people "don't need to worry" about the speed at which Covid vaccines have been developed.

Her words have come as those over 70 who haven't been offered a Covid-19 vaccine in England are being urged to book an appointment.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock today announced almost 1 in 4 adults have had at least one jab.

So far, 91% of the over 80s have had their first jab, 95% of those aged 75-80, and 93% for care home residents.

Dr Jarvis told LBC's Iain Dale:"I would say there are lots of messages out there and I completely understand if you have been feeling nervous about [getting vaccinated] because unfortunately 'the University of Twitter' has been awash.

"But I have looked at every single one of these messages and I understand where they came from. I also understand that every single one of them is untrue."

Dr Jarvis then said that there are "so many reasons" behind why people "don't need to worry" about the speed at which Covid vaccines have been developed.

She explained: "If we think about why vaccines on average take 10 years to get out there, it's because when you start they have to know the genetic code and that can take a considerable time.

That was made available to the whole world by China in January last year.

"Next, you need to have money and funding, and that will often take months [or] maybe years. In this case, Governments were queuing up to fund vaccination programmes."

She added: "Next, you need to have the technology and what they've been able to do is to harness the technology of all the other vaccine research that has been done in the last 10 years..."

Dr Jarvis continued: "Then you need to have enough people getting involved in the trials. And often that will take months and that might delay it.

"But in this case, we've had 350,000 people in the UK alone who signed up for trials.

"Then when you start the trials, you have to have enough people getting the virus in both the placebo and the vaccine arm in order to see if there's a difference. Because we've got so much Covid around, that happened inn weeks rather than months or years."