Speaking today, professor John Edmunds, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, stated the UK “could be in a reasonable” position in the coming months. With the second wave of the virus taking hold across the country, professor Edmunds stated a successful vaccine could soon put the UK in a better position. During a session of the Science and Technology and Health and Social Care Committee, professor Edmunds stated the Vaccine Taskforce had been smart to invest in six different possible drugs.
If successful, the vaccines could provide 340 million doses of drugs.
He said: “If vaccines are just around the corner then, in my view, we should try and keep the incidence as low as we can now, because we will be able to use vaccines in the not too distant future.
“I think we will be in a reasonable position in months.
“I don’t think we’re going to be vaccinating everybody but to start, maybe the highest-risk people, healthcare workers and so on.”
Despite the hopes of a vaccine, it is unsure when one may pass through stage three trials, and therefore be used.
Speaking earlier this month, Kate Bingham, the head of the UK’s Vaccine Taskfroce, admitted there was a small chance of a drug being available before the end of the year.
As it stands, the vaccine being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca has progressed to phase 3 trials.
This means the vaccine will now be given to volunteers to check its safety.
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“I am optimistic that we will see something – four of our six vaccines are now in phase three studies, and in each of them we’ve seen very positive data in the phase one and two clinical studies, which shows that people who have received the vaccine do elicit a strong immune response, and that, and if you take the neutralising antibodies that are triggered those antibodies are able to kill live Covid virus.
“So that is very positive and it’s as good as it can be at the moment.
“And we now need to see whether or not those immune responses that we see translate into protection.”
The UK’s other five vaccines are being produced by; BioNTech and Pfizer; Valneva; Novavax; Johnson & Johnson; and GlaxoSmithKline.
Currently, Ms Bingham claimed any vaccine may be similar to what we use for flu where shots are given annually depending on the strain.
The UK’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, also claimed the virus may never be eradicated.
He told MPs, it is doubtful a vaccine will be available before spring.