'Normality will never return until the world is vaccinated' says AstraZeneca jab creator

16 July 2021, 13:37

By Tim Dodd

Oxford AstraZeneca jab creator Professor Sarah Gilbert tells LBC the UK will 'never get back to normality' until everybody in the world is vaccinated.

Speaking to the Full Disclosure podcast with James O'Brien, Professor Gilbert of The Jenner Institute said: "I hope that we're now going to recognise that vaccines are needed for everybody. They're needed in this country, they're needed for the whole world as well, and vaccinating the whole world is the best way to protect us.

"Because if we don't, there'll be new variants arising and we'll never go back to normality if we can't get everybody vaccinated."

READ MORE: NHS Covid app sends half a million alerts in a week amid staff shortage fears

On the effect of politics on her work, Professor Gilbert said:

"What we came to realise was that politics does affect what we do, in ways we hadn't experienced before, and we still have to keep going.

"So politicians will say various things which they may just say on the spur of the moment, and they may wish they hadn't said it in some cases, but it's reported around the world.

"Whereas scientists, when we're talking to the press, when we're presenting the results in our latest publication, we are always referencing back to the data. We were only making statements we can backup with data. We sometimes say "We don't know the answer to that, we have yet to collect the data and be completely honest about that.

"So when we are working extremely hard to do that, to be correct, to back up our statements, it is frustrating to hear people who can just say anything they like on the spur of the moment and that becomes a big news story."

READ MORE: NHS Covid app 'pingdemic' in numbers: Surge in people being told to self isolate

Dr Catherine Green, Associate Professor at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, told James the world was “naive” about coronavirus: "Everyone was a bit naive, we could've seen it coming, perhaps the flags should've been raised earlier.

"It was just every day the news got a little bit worse, it was like every day it was like 'ah maybe this is more of a problem', and by the end of February, clearly something we were going to need to respond to, and Sarah had already submitted a grant to the UK government by the end of Feb."

READ MORE: Whitty warns UK 'could get into trouble fast' as daily Covid deaths rise to 63

Available on Global Player on your smart speaker, iOS or Android device and online.