Normal life will not return to Europe until at least next Autumn, warns a leading scientist.
The Covid-19 pandemic has swept through the continent since last March.
And the number of sufferers continue to rise.
There are fears a third wave could hit countries as they relax rules and regulations for Christmas.
Jean-François Delfraissy, head of France’s National Consultative Ethics Committee, warned that protective measures such as lockdowns, social distancing and mask-wearing will have to remain in place for months to come.
He said those most at-risk from coronavirus can be protected by vaccines.
But that is unlikely to happen before the end of next year.
“Vaccines are a major source of hope but if you look at the vaccination capabilities that we will have in France and elsewhere in Europe, we will need time.
“The production of vaccines will be slower than envisioned 15 days or three weeks ago.
“We will not face a vaccine shortfall, but we will have something that is more spread out over time.”