One of the world’s leading experts on the new coronavirus has said there is no guarantee that a vaccine will be successfully developed, meaning that the threat is going to loom “for the foreseeable future.”
“You don’t necessarily develop a vaccine that is safe and effective against every virus,” Britain’s David Nabarro, a professor of global health at London’s Imperial College, and a World Health Organization envoy on COVID-19, told The Observer in an interview published Saturday.
“Some viruses are very, very difficult when it comes to vaccine development — so for the foreseeable future, we are going to have to find ways to go about our lives with this virus as a constant threat,” added Nabarro.
“That means isolating those who show signs of the disease and also their contacts,” he said. “Older people will have to be protected. In addition hospital capacity for dealing with cases will have to be ensured. That is going to be the new normal for us all.”
Over 60 potential vaccine candidates and treatments for coronavirus are being developed in labs around the world, most in pre-clinical stages.
US company Moderna began clinical trials last month, and Oxford University scientists are to commence human trials this week. Another group in the United States and one in China have commenced human trials.
In Israel, scientists at the state-funded Migal Galilee Research Institute have said that their vaccine for coronavirus was on track to be ready for testing within “a few weeks,” though it won’t be available for months because of the lengthy testing and approval process.