British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says there might never be a vaccine for COVID-19 despite the huge global effort to develop one.
Johnson, who was hospitalised last month with a serious bout of coronavirus, speculated on Sunday that a vaccine may not be developed at all, despite the huge global effort to produce one.
Johnson wrote in the Mail on Sunday newspaper “there remains a very long way to go, and I must be frank that a vaccine might not come to fruition”.
“We need to find new ways to control the virus,” including testing people who have symptoms and tracing contacts of those infected people, he said.
The British government is giving 93 million pounds ($110m) in funding to speed up the opening of the new Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre. Johnson said the UK is also supporting research into drug treatments to help people recover quickly from the virus.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said the UK was home to two of the world’s “frontrunners to develop a vaccine”.
The projects, at Oxford University and Imperial College London, were making “good progress” at “unprecedented speed”, he said. But he warned “there are no certainties”.
“We may never find a successful coronavirus vaccine,” he said.
The British government relaxed some restrictions on outdoor activities in England last week and plans to continue easing rules over the next few months.
“I know this will not be easy – the first baby steps never are,” Johnson said.