Dublin-born vaccinologist Professor Adrian Hill, who is head of the Jenner Institute in Oxford where the latest Covid-19 vaccine was developed, has said that “maybe by next May or June we could be back to normal”.
AstraZeneca and Oxford University revealed that their vaccine was found to be up to 90% effective in preventing Covid-19.
They said said their jab is effective in stopping most people from contracting coronavirus and falling seriously ill, with some indications that it can also prevent people passing the virus to others.
Asked if he could see the light at the end of the tunnel, Prof Jenner told RTÉ radio’s News at One that he did, but he warned that there would be no vaccinations in November, possibly a few in December and then it would start to roll out in the new year.
In the meantime people needed to continue to observe precautions, he urged.
Operating the roll out of the vaccine would be very challenging, he added. “What we are doing is unprecedented.” Prof Hill said that normally it would take up to 10 years for a vaccine to be developed, but this had been one in 10 months.
The timing involved had been “kaleidoscoped” as there had not been a need to apply for grants or await approval while regulatory bodies had moved the project “to the top of the pile”.
He said: “Once we get regulatory approval we will be ready to go.” 10 countries would be involved in the manufacturing of the vaccine while one facility in India had already manufactured 100 million doses.
Prof Hill said he anticipated regulatory approval would come “in the next couple of weeks”.
Clinical trial data had been sent through to the regulatory authorities as they were working on the vaccine rather than waiting until the end, this was done in a bid to speed up the process, he explained.
The Irish-born professor who co-designed the AstraZeneca and Oxford University Covid vaccine has said that she has never worked as hard in her life.
“It has been all hands to the pump, it's been seven days a week and there's been no break. It's been relentless. Luckily it's paid off,” Professor Tess Lambe told RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show.