The UK’s leading scientific advisers have warned that the prospect of a coronavirus vaccine cannot be taken for granted.
Speaking alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the government’s daily press briefing, chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance said “you can never guarantee that you’re going to get a vaccine,” but added that “great progress has been made” in various countries.
He also referred to trials of drug treatments around the world. “I’d be surprised if we didn’t end up with something,” he said.
“Science takes time,” Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer for England, added. “We cannot guarantee when we’re going to find those solutions.”
Vallance said that around 130,000 people may currently be infected with Covid-19, according to early results from a randomized set of swab tests sent to thousands of homes.
That data has a wide margin of error, but Vallance said it suggests that “maybe 10%” of people in London have had the virus, and “somewhere around 4%” of people outside London may have had it.