British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a COVID19 survivor, has warned that a mass vaccine for the highly contagious disease may be over a year away and may in fact never be found.
In his foreword to the government's new 50-page guidance ona step by step easing of the lockdown measures in place to control the spreadof the deadly virus, the UK prime minister lays out plans for businesses togradually start reopening with "COVID19 Secure" measures of social distancingand for the public to use "good solid British common sense" as the economy isunlocked.
"A mass vaccine ortreatment may be more than a year away," said Johnson, highlighting the workbeing done in the UK by scientists at Oxford University and Imperial CollegeLondon towards this mission.
"Indeed, in a worst-case scenario, we may never find avaccine. So our plan must countenance a situation where we are in this,together, for the long haul, even while doing all we can to avoid thatoutcome," he said.
Admitting that a vaccine or drug-based treatment is the only "feasible long-term solution", he said the UK has accelerated this with "promising" vaccine development programmes and a collaboration between Oxford University and pharma major AstraZeneca was a vital step that could help rapidly advance the manufacture of a COVID19 vaccine when it is ready.