Prominent scientists have warned that the COVID-19 restrictions will last for at least a year even if an effective vaccine is found.
Experts estimate it will take six to 12 months to heal the entire nation once an effective hit is found.
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Even if a jab was carried out in the spring, the restrictions would still be in place for several months, said Professor Nilai Shah, of Imperial College London.
He said, “There is no doubt that life will suddenly return to normal in March, even if… we had a continuous wind.
“It will take a long time to work through different priority groups at first, and then work on a larger scale later on.
“To get past this vaccination, (it will take) several months, maybe more than a year.” Professor Shah warned that as many as 30,000 professionals will need to provide vaccines daily for the program to be successful.
There are more than 200 vaccines in development around the world, With more than 40 already in clinical trials.
The ministers have secured access to six prominent candidates under development, with options to purchase more than 340 million doses.
Oxford University is among the first, and results of their trial are expected later this year.
Priority groups such as the elderly and frontline health and care workers will be front in line once approved.
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Professor Charles Bingham, co-author of the report and head of the Immunology Department at Imperial College London, said vaccination would lead to a “progressive relaxation” of social distancing.
He said, “Even if it is effective, it is unlikely that we will be able to completely return to normal.”
“There will be a gradient scale, even after a vaccine that we know is effective. We will have to gradually reduce some of the other interventions.”
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