Researchers are warning the UK needs to be prepared for the worst this winter season as a COVID-19 vaccine may not be prepared.
The Science and Innovation Committee heard that if the flu season is especially bad this year, there could be “pandemonium in A&E departments”.
Chairman Greg Clark asked experts if the country need to be getting ready for the winter without a COVID-19 vaccine, or if one may be ready in time.
Sir John Bell, Regius professor of medicine at the University of Oxford, said that it ought to not be assumed that there will be one.
” This whole epidemic has relied too greatly on presumptions that have turned out not to be real,” he said.
” So, my strong guidance is be prepared for the worst.”
Sir John concurred that being gotten ready for the first wave of the coronavirus will not be the exact same as being gotten ready for a second wave, saying: “If we have a really bad influenza season, there will be difficulty separating influenza from COVID patients.”
He likewise worried that the number of individuals getting influenza vaccines need to be broadened, as “uptake is lamentably little in some locations”.
” This could be actually serious if individuals don’t get their flu vaccines … It’s unexpected the number of individuals who are qualified don’t get the flu vaccine,” he stated.
The committee session focused on the progress made on the development of vaccines and treatments in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oxford University was described by Kate Bingham, from the UK Federal Government Vaccine Taskforce, as having “the most advanced vaccine anywhere in the world”.
There remains a concern over whether it will be a “sterilising” vaccine that avoids infection or a “symptom-alleviating” vaccine that decreases death.
Teacher Gilbert said: “We are very happy that we are seeing the best sort of immune response.”
The professor likewise explained that researchers can not show that a vaccine works unless there are high levels of infection.
It indicates that due to the present low transmission rates in the UK, groups from Oxford University are carrying out trials in other countries, such as Brazil and South Africa, where transmission rates are high.
Scientists from Oxford will likewise be partnering with pharmaceutical huge AstraZeneca to start a big research study in the US, intending to involve 30,000 individuals.