A SAGE scientist says he thinks a vaccine will be ready by spring – but says now is the “second best time” to have a circuit breaker to stop the coronavirus spread.
Professor Jeremy Farrar said he expects to see a vaccine at the start of next year but has dismissed the calls by the Government that a circuit breaker isn’t needed at the moment, reports the Mirror.
This comes after Michael Gove said there was no need for a circuit breaker and said local lockdowns were the way to go to stop the spread of the virus.
Prof Farrar, the Wellcome Trust director, said to Sky News: “I do believe the vaccines will be available in the first quarter of next year, I do believe that monoclonal antibodies to treat patients and save lives will be available in the coming months.
“It’s with that context that I think we need to reduce transmission now and we need to get ourselves back to the beginning of September as a country, not in piecemeal, not in fragments across the country, but as a whole country.”
Asked if he agreed with Cabinet Minister Michael Gove, who just minutes earlier had said there was no need for a circuit breaker, Professor Farrar said “no I don’t”.
He said the action was necessary because the R rate, which measures how fast the virus is spreading, was above 1 across the UK.
He said: “There is no doubt that across the whole country community transmission is going up, hospitalisations are going up and tragically we are seeing deaths increase.
“That is something that is very worrying as we go into winter and we are all indoors more often.”
Mr Farrar said the “second best time” for a national circuit-breaker lockdown is now, with the best time being when it was first suggested by SAGE In September.
He said it was “never too late” for national restrictions, adding: “It’s better to do it now, than in a month’s time.”