Great Britain

Coronavirus vaccine WON’T be ready next year and world has to ‘learn to live with the virus’, warns top scientist

A TOP French expert has warned that a coronavirus vaccine will not be ready for next year and told us we have to "learn to live with the virus."

The sobering prediction comes despite multiple scientists suggesting that a vaccine at the end of this year or early next year was possible.

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But French epidemiologist Arnaud Fontanet, working with the French government to tackle the pandemic, has dampened expectations and insisted the public must get used to life with Covid-19 restrictions in place.

"A vaccine is several years in development," he told BFMTV.

"Of course, there is an unprecedented effort to develop a vaccine, but I would be very surprised if we had that was effective in 2021."

He added that while partial treatments were likely, a full-blown vaccine for coronavirus was not and we would have "live with this virus."

He told audiences that this summer they should "respect physical distance, at least" but otherwise return to "more serious habits".

Mr Fontanet warnings come off the back of former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt's comments where he told the British public despite the falling deaths and the economy's reopening, the process of getting rid of Covid-19 would not be "smooth".

He told BBC's Today programme that it will be a "stop-go process until we get a vaccine. It's not going to be smooth and there will be times where we move into reverse gear."

Around 200 hundred groups around the world are working on vaccines and 18 of them are at the stage of human trials, sparking hopes that the French boffin may be wrong.

These include the programme at Imperial College London which began trialling a vaccine on 300 hundred healthy volunteers last month.

Even more exciting is the news from Oxford University where researchers, alongside pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca, are reportedly "80% confident" of a vaccine that could work in younger people being ready for September.

An Imperial College professor also revealed all Brits could have access to a vaccine jab at the start of next year.

Lab chief Robin Shattock told Sophie Ridge on Sky that the UK is getting the pieces in place for a working vaccine.

He said: "If everything goes really well, we will get an answer as to whether it works by early next year.

"We have put in place the infrastructure to make enough vaccine for the whole of the UK.

"Assuming the funding is there to purchase that vaccine,, we could have that vaccine rolled out across the UK in the first half of next year.

"The UK are looking at doing an advanced purchase of the vaccine so that its ready to go. It doesn't mean its going to be excluded to other parts of the world.

"As soon as we know it works... everyone will be queuing up to get their hands on this vaccine."

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