A few days ago, the UK made another unsubstantiated accusation against Russia, claiming how “Russian hackers” allegedly “stole information” on UK’s COVID-19 vaccine research. And despite providing zero evidence, the UK insisted that Russia was the culprit of a crime that effectively never took place. However, a new announcement by the UK claims that “most likely there will never be a COVID-19 vaccine”.
The UK’s Vaccine Taskforce chair cautioned against over-optimism that a COVID-19 vaccine will be found, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it’s an “exaggeration” that a vaccine is 100 percent likely this year or next.
Following the announcement on Monday that the government has secured early access to 90 million doses of “promising vaccine candidates”, chair Kate Bingham sought to temper the enthusiasm of those who may have thought a breakthrough was imminent.
“We have to be very cautious because there has never been a vaccine against a coronavirus and there may never be one,” she told Sky News.
Bingham is the latest scientist to give the assessment that, despite global efforts, the provision of a successful immunization program against the pandemic is not guaranteed. COVID-19 is from the coronavirus family, which includes a number of other highly infectious diseases.
Noting that there is no vaccine against SARS, another coronavirus, Bingham explained, “There is no vaccine against malaria, against HIV, and these are diseases we know well.”
She added that there is no expectation that this definitely can be done and that it’s unlikely there will be a single [COVID-19] vaccine that works for everyone.
The prime minister urged the British people not to pin their hopes on the prospect of a vaccine being available this year or next, insisting to claim so would be “an exaggeration”, because he does not himself have “100 percent” confidence.
“We’re not there yet,” he concluded.
Nonetheless, one of the leading COVID-19 vaccine development groups is based in the UK.
Results of the first phase of human trials carried out by Oxford University scientists reportedly showed that their coronavirus vaccine is allegedly “safe and induces an immune response to the disease”. Phase-two testing is reportedly already underway in the UK, with 14,000 volunteers, and phase-three testing on volunteers in the COVID-19 high-risk countries of Brazil and South Africa is also taking place.
Professor Sarah Gilbert, co-author of the Oxford University study, stated, “There is still much work to be done before we can confirm if our vaccine will help manage the COVID-19 pandemic, but these early results hold promise.”
In contrast, Russia’s first vaccine against the novel coronavirus infection, which was created by military specialists and scientists of the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, is ready, First Deputy Defense Minister Ruslan Tsalikov told Argumenty i Fakty newspaper.
“Final assessments on the results of testing by our specialists and scientists of the National Research Center have been already made. At the moment of release, all volunteers without exception developed immunity against the coronavirus and felt normal. So, the first domestic vaccine against the novel coronavirus infection is ready,” Tsalikov stated, according to TASS.
The Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade told TASS that on June 30 documents for registering the vaccine were submitted to the Health Ministry. In June, the ministry issued a permit for clinical tests of a liquid and freeze-dried vaccine developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology jointly with the Russian defense ministry’s research institute No48.
The liquid vaccine is being tested on 43 volunteers at the Burdenko Main Military Hospital and the freeze-dried vaccine is being tested at the Sechenov Medical University, also on 43 volunteers. The Defense Ministry reported on Monday that, jointly with the Gamaleya National Research Center, it had successfully completed trials of the vaccine on volunteers on the basis of the Burdenko Main Military Hospital.