- Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert said Covid is unlikely to turn fatal
- States that viruses ‘become less rare’ through the population as they are transmitted
- Professor Whitty says all school children will be exposed to Kovid
- England’s chief medical officer warns people who remain untested will be infected
The woman who created the Oxford vaccine has said that Covid is unlikely to turn into a more lethal form and will eventually cause the common cold.
Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert said, ‘There are not many places for the virus to go that can evade immunity but still be a truly infectious virus’.
She said that viruses ‘become less virulent’ through populations, adding: ‘There is no reason to think that we will have a more virulent version of Sars-CoV-2.
Dame Sarah said the virus that causes Covid-19 will eventually become like the coronaviruses that spread widely and cause the common cold.
His remarks came as Professor Chris Whitty warned that nearly all uninfected children would become infected with COVID at some point in the future and that nearly half of young people had already caught the virus.
Speaking at the Royal Society of Medicine seminar, Dame Sarah said: ‘We already live with four different human coronaviruses that we never really think about very much and eventually Sars-CoV-2 in them. will become one.
Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert said COVID is unlikely to turn into a more lethal form and will eventually lead to the common cold
England’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty said the delta version’s transmissibility meant all school students would be exposed to the virus
‘It’s just a question of how long it will take to get there and what measures we will have to take to manage it in the meantime.’
The 59-year-old led the team at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute that created the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, the most widely distributed jab in the world.
Dame Sarah also revealed that she is struggling to obtain funding to help prevent future pandemics.
The scientist, who specializes in the development of jabs against emerging viruses, said that urgent investments are needed to prevent other infectious diseases spreading across the world.
She said: ‘We are still trying to raise funds to develop other vaccines, which we were working on before the pandemic, against diseases that have caused outbreaks in the past and may prevent future outbreaks. Will be the reason
‘We are being supported financially for our ongoing work against Covid… but when we try to return to the projects we were working on before the coronavirus, we are still getting funding. Were trying to.’
Meanwhile, she said the very rare blood clots associated with the AstraZeneca jab have not been seen at similar rates in other parts of the world.
She also suggested that the primary work on a modified vaccine to combat the beta version of the virus produced only a ‘slightly better’ immune response than the original vaccine, when given as a third dose to people who had There were already two jabs of the AstraZeneca vaccine. , but the data is still being collected.
In June, then-Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government was in business discussions with the pharmaceutical giant on the variant vaccine.
Dame Sarah was also asked which title she was most proud of, and she said: ‘Professor, of course.’
The scientist’s remarks came after England’s chief medical officer said that nearly all uninfected children would become infected with Covid at some point and that others would get it ‘sooner or later’, adding that vaccines reduce that risk. will reduce
After being grilled by politicians about his decision to recommend everyone over the age of 12, Professor Whitty insisted that the move was made purely because of the benefits to children.
He denied the advice – which rejected guidance from the No. 10 top vaccine advisory panel that recommended that youth not be jab – was political.
Professor Whitty said: ‘Most of the kids who don’t currently have COVID are going to get it at some point.
‘It won’t be necessary in the next two or three months but they will get it sooner or later because it is incredibly contagious. Vaccination will reduce that risk.’
It comes as Tory lawmakers rebuked the government for ‘weakening’ the Joint Committee for Immunization and Immunization (JCVI) – the independent body advising the government on vaccine policy through jabs for children.
He argued that bringing in the measure now was ‘perverse’ as the UK is going through the ‘worst phase of the pandemic’.
But speaking at an education select committee today, Professor Whitty said vaccines in 12 to 15-year-olds would be key in halting the current surge in cases in the age group once they return to schools.
Lauren McLean, 15, of Newcastle received the Pfizer vaccine today at Excelsior Academy in Newcastle upon Tyne
Felix Dima, 13, of Newcastle receives the Pfizer vaccine at the Excelsior Academy in Newcastle-on-Tyne
Professor Whitty said: ‘There is certainly substantial transmission happening in this age group.
What is the risk for children if they catch COVID?
Most children who become infected with the virus have no symptoms, or mild symptoms such as low-grade fever, fatigue, and cough.
However, children with underlying health conditions may be at increased risk of a condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome.
Multisystem inflammatory syndrome can cause life-threatening complications with the heart and other organs.
Symptoms of this condition may include fever, abdominal pain, rash, vomiting, chapped lips, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, and sleepiness.
This year, researchers found that children face an ‘extremely low’ in 500,000 risk of dying from the coronavirus.
The study was led by researchers from University College London, the University of York and the University of Liverpool.