Coronavirus timeline: Experts pinpoint future of Covid pandemic – how UK will reach END | UK | News (Reports)

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Christian Stephenson, chief development officer at Medusa 19, the producer of a 15-minute saliva-based lateral flow Covid test, said the crisis is still only in the early stages.

Mr Stephenson told Express.co.uk: “We are still early in the vaccination process – the vaccines will still take time to roll out globally, and we are also unsure about the success rate of many of those produced.

“Until we have this clarity, a robust testing procedure will be crucial to controlling the virus and keeping the economy moving.”

Virologist Professor Martin Michaelis added the new variants are a point of concern amid the lifespan of Covid-19.

He told Express.co.uk: “The roll-out of vaccines is good news, and more effective drug therapies will become available at some point.

“However, the current Covid-19 levels remain very high in many parts of the world. This is of concern because increasing levels of immunity due to vaccination and previous infection start to exert a selection pressure that favours the formation of novel variants that can escape immune recognition.

“The recent detection of novel variants in the UK, Brazil, and South Africa illustrates this.”

He added: “Since the formation of new variants is a stochastic process driven by random mutations during virus replication, a high number of infected people is associated with a high risk of novel variants that are not covered by vaccines or pre-existing immunity from previous infections.

“Hence, current vaccines may need to be adapted prior to the end of this first vaccination campaign. This is possible but will take time.

“Therefore, our exit out of this pandemic will not be as smooth as many may have hoped, and restrictions may have to be in place for longer than anticipated.”

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