Leading scientist says Covid-19 could “burn out naturally”

Professor Karol Sikora

Coronavirus could “burn out naturally”, claims a former director of the World Health Organisation.

His comments come as the UK Government announces a £90 million campaign to produce a vaccine.

Professor Karol Sikora, an oncologist and chief medical officer at Rutherford Health, said the public probably has more immunity to Covid-19 than realised.

He thought the virus could end up “petering out by itself”.

Writing on social media he explained:

“There is a real chance that the virus will burn out naturally before any vaccine is developed.

“We are seeing a roughly similar pattern everywhere – I suspect we have more immunity than estimated.

“We need to keep slowing the virus, but it could be petering out by itself.”

Alok Sharma, the Business Secretary, today (Sunday) announced the Government is investing £93 million in the construction of the UK’s first dedicated Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC).

It’s hoped to be open in summer 2021 – 12 months ahead of schedule.

And, more than £38 million is going towards creating a rapid development unit to ensure a successful vaccine can be produced quickly.

The Government said the VMIC could make enough vaccine to serve all the UK within six months.

Mr Sharma said we need to be ready to “manufacture a vaccine by the millions” when the breakthrough comes, and this funding will help make that happen

The VMIC’s chief executive, Dr Matthew Duchars, added:

“This investment will rapidly accelerate the construction of the facility, enabling us to bring it online a year sooner.

“In addition, the capacity will be significantly increased, so that enough vaccines could be made for everyone in the UK within a matter of months of opening.”


About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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