Coronavirus: Social distancing to stay ‘until a vaccine is found’

COVID-19 means the UK will have to live with some restrictions until a vaccine is found

Until there is a vaccine no one is safe!

It must and should be made clear, until there is a vaccine any lifting of social distancing will leave people open to catching the virus. This could ultimately result in death or the spreading of COVID-19 creating a second wave of the pandemic.

There is now a global race to to create a vaccine, with many different pharmaceutical and research institutes vying to be the first to create it. On March 20, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that there are 44 COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

But scientists say it will take around 12 to 18 months for a vaccine to be developed, approved and ready.

How do vaccines work?

A vaccine works by presenting certain molecules – also known as antigens of the pathogen (the virus) – to the immune system. 

Traditionally these antigens are in a weakened or inactive form, so they cannot actually cause the illness. But our immune system is then able to recognise the antigen as an unwanted foreign invader, and forms antibodies, allowing it to “remember” the pathogen in case it tries to infect you in the future.

The antibodies you have built upwill then attack the pathogen before it is able to make you unwell if you are exposed to it in the future.

Newer technology is now also allowing us to create a vaccine that is not made from the weakened or inactive pathogen at all, but instead from a copied genetic code from the virus, which is made in a laboratory. However, no vaccine that has been made in this novel way has been approved thus far. 

The UK will have to live with some restrictions until scientist make a breakthrough

The UK must keep a “significant level” of social distancing until a vaccine for coronavirus is found, a scientist advising the government has said.

Prof Neil Ferguson told the BBC there was “little leeway” to relax measures without “something… in their place” – such as testing and contact tracing.

A three-week extension to the lockdown is expected to be announced later.

It comes as the UK recorded another 861 coronavirus deaths, taking the total number of hospital deaths to 13,729.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced strict curbs on life in the UK on 23 March, as the government sought to limit the spread of the virus.

Ministers are required by law to assess whether the rules are working, based on expert advice, every three weeks.

The government – led by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab as Mr Johnson continues to recover from the virus – will detail the outcome of the first assessment at the daily news conference later.

Labour said it would support an extension, but called for details on how and when the lockdown will end.

 #covid19uk #Coronavirus #SocialDistancing #NHSPPE #StayHomeSaveLives 

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