A doctor wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) holds a saliva swab in a test tube during coronavirus symptom tests | Representational Image | Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi | Bloomberg
A doctor wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) holds a saliva swab in a test tube during coronavirus symptom tests | Representational Image | Krisztian Bocsi | Bloomberg File Photo
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London: A vaccine against the coronavirus could be ready by September, according to a scientist leading one of Britain’s most advanced teams.

Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at Oxford University, told The Times on Saturday that she is “80% confident” the vaccine would work, and could be ready by September. Experts have warned the public that vaccines typically take years to develop, and one for the coronavirus could take between 12 to 18 months at best.

In the case of the Oxford team, however, “it’s not just a hunch, and as every week goes by we have more data to look at,” Gilbert told the London newspaper.

Gilbert’s team is one of dozens worldwide working on a vaccine and is the most advanced in Britain, she told the Times. As the country looks set to begin its fourth week under lockdown, a vaccine could be fundamental in easing the measures and returning to normal life. Gilbert said human trials are due to start in the next two weeks.

Her remarks came as the death toll from the virus pushed past 100,000 globally. On Friday, the U.K. reported 980 fatalities, taking the total count from the virus to 8,958, and the government has repeatedly pleaded with the public to obey lockdown rules during the long Easter holiday weekend. As Prime Minister Boris Johnson begins his recovery after a spell in intensive care, Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, warned he expects the number of deaths to increase for “a few weeks” yet.

Manufacturing the millions of vaccine doses necessary could take months. Gilbert said she’s in discussions with the British government about funding, and starting production before the final results are in, allowing the public to access the vaccine immediately if it proves to work. She said success by the autumn was “just about possible if everything goes perfectly.”

Also read:Boris Johnson out of ICU, but political vacuum and coronavirus won’t let him breathe easy


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  1. The CIDRAP viewpoint : “Covid19 can go as far as December 2021 or mid-2022”.
    The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy ( CIDRAP ) at the University of Minnesota published on 30 April , 2020 its first report in a multipart series titled , “ COVID-19 : The CIDRAP Viewpoint”. The Expert report is said to have laid emphasis on strong immune system in the body to bring virus to a halt. Further , it has said that the length of the pandemic would likely be 18 to 24 months as ‘ herd immunity’ gradually develops in the human population. This takes the period of forecast to December 2021 or mid-2022. There is still another forecast in the report. The US has been alerted to prepare for worst-case scenario that includes a second big wave of coronavirus infections in the fall and winter. This covers a long period of about six months from September 2020 to February 2021. A view has also been expressed saying that the effect of the virus may begin to calm down once 60 to 70 percent of population has been infected. Here , the term or scientific phenomenon ‘ herd immunity’ may need to be understood. It has been defined somewhere independent of the report as the indirect protection from contagious infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection.
    It can be opined that the report has been primarily prepared keeping the U.S. in view. But the principles there look to be relating in general to the overall situation in world. In this context , it may be apt to refer readers to this Vedic astrology writer’s predictive response contributed to the news report – “ China’s coronavirus death toll rises to 170 , more than 1000 new cases” – published on 30 January , 2020 at freepressjournal.in/world/chinas-death-toll-rises-to-170-more-than-1000-new-cases. It can be observed from this writer’s predictive response that as early as on 30 January , 2020 , it was substantially the same as revealed exactly three months later in the report of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy ( CIDRAP ) on 30 April , 2020. That reflects superb meaningfulness of predictive guidance capability of Vedic astrology. A summarized text of this predictive response contributed by this writer on 2 February , 2020 at punemirror.indiatimes.com/news/india/coronavirus-anyone-with-travel-history-of-china-since-january-15-can-be-quarantined/articlesshow/73878271.cms reads as follows here :-
    “ The readers may recall this Vedic astrology writer’s first response to the news about outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan city of China. The response around 14 January 2020 was that the virus is likely to grow stronger and stay longer as the time passes in vulnerable countries. It could stay as long as December 2021 unless some effective measures were taken meanwhile. And the period from 20 March to June ( June included ) 2020 plus October –December may likely call for continued vigilance in that regard. It could likely be more aggressive. So it looks to be alright to continue taking more care and appropriate strategy in that regard. Here , it may be mentioned that those having respiratory problems in the system may be alert otherwise than coronavirus during aforesaid times”.
    Note :- the websites referred to having claimed comments can be reached by google search – ‘update on coronavirus in Wuhan city of China following alert in that regard by WHO on 14 January 2020’.

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