First coronavirus vaccine will not stop infections, scientists warn

The first COVID-19 vaccine may only ease symptoms and is unlikely to prevent people from getting the disease, scientists have warned British ministers. (File/AFP)
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Updated 25 September 2020

First coronavirus vaccine will not stop infections, scientists warn

  • Whitty said that a vaccine which is between 40 to 60 percent effective is realistic
  • Government advisers are looking for ways to increase the public’s vigilance as the vaccine is introduced

LONDON: The first COVID-19 vaccine may only ease symptoms and is unlikely to prevent people from getting the disease, scientists have warned British ministers.
Scientific advisers to the UK government are expecting the first vaccine to gain regulatory approval to be only partially effective, The Times reported.
They are looking for ways to increase the public’s vigilance as the vaccine is introduced.
England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty previously said that science will eventually “ride to the rescue,” but that the first coronavirus vaccines are unlikely to protect everyone, the Times said.
However, an early vaccine that cuts the risk of critical illness would reduce deaths in high-risk groups and enable life-saving treatment for other diseases.
A team of scientists developing a vaccine at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group have set a minimum target of 50 percent protection.
Whitty said that a vaccine which is between 40 to 60 percent effective is realistic, the Times said.
The head of vaccines at the Wellcome Trust, Charlie Weller, told the newspaper that the first vaccines are likely to have limited effectiveness, and that other preventative measures would need to be taken to control infections.
“There’s a lot of hope, understandably, resting on a vaccine that is going to be this wonderful one dose that will give lifetime immunity and move us back to normality the next day. But it’s not going to be the perfect solution, it’s not going to be the silver bullet,” Weller said.
“We might get a vaccine that’s 50 percent effective, and we might get a vaccine that can prevent disease, but it might not prevent transmission from person to person. We might also get a vaccine that is safe for the majority of adults, but it may not be suitable for everyone with every underlying condition, whether that’s diabetes or asthma, or something else,” he added.


Turkey's coronavirus death toll hits record for seventh day in a row

Updated 29 November 2020

Turkey's coronavirus death toll hits record for seventh day in a row

ISTANBUL: Turkey's daily COVID-19 death toll hit a record high for a seventh consecutive day on Sunday, with 185 fatalities in the last 24 hours, data from the Health Ministry showed.
The number of new cases of coronavirus infections, including asymptomatic ones, fell slightly to 29,281. For four months, Turkey only reported symptomatic cases, but since Wednesday it has reported all cases.
The total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic in March stood at 13,558.