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30th Jan 2021

Scientist warns normality won’t return until vaccines are distributed globally

A top scientists has warned that life will not return to anything resembling normality until vaccines are distributed all over the world

Reuben Pinder

We are looking at a three year time frame

A leading scientist has warned that life won’t return to normal until as late as 2023/2024.

Dr Clare Wenham, assistant professor of global health policy at London School of Economics has emphasised the need for vaccines to be distributed to all corners of the globe before life can go back to anything resembling normality.

“At the moment, the data is showing it’s going to be 2023/24 before the global vaccines are distributed to everybody,” Dr Wenham told Sky News.

“That’s a long time. And distributing some now might be able to get us back to normal life sooner.”

While the United Kingdom has made big strides with its distribution of vaccines in recent weeks, the threat of mutant strains and different levels of vaccination in other countries means border controls are likely to remain in place for a long while yet.

“This pandemic isn’t going to be over until it’s over globally,” Dr Wenham said.

The World Health Organisation recently called on the UK to slow down its vaccine roll out once vulnerable groups had received the jab in order to aid the global distribution of the vaccines.

WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris urged UK authorities to tell Brits to wait for their vaccine because aiding the global effort was “clearly the right thing to do.”

Britain and Israel are among the leading countries regarding vaccination numbers, while some poorer nations have not yet been able to administer one jab.

“We’re asking all countries in those circumstances to do that: ‘hang on, wait for those other groups’,” Harris told BBC Breakfast.

“We’ll also appeal to all the people of the UK – you can wait.”

“We’re asking countries, once you’ve got those (high risk and health care worker) groups, please ensure that the supply you’ve got access to is provided for others,” she added.

Not only is there a moral case to take this step, but an economical one too, she insisted.

“While that is morally clearly the right thing to do, it’s also economically the right thing to do.

“There have been a number of very interesting analyses showing that just vaccinating your own country and then sitting there and saying ‘we’re fine’ will not work economically.

“That phrase ‘no man is an island’ applies economically as well.

“We in the world, we’re so connected and unless we get all societies working effectively once again, every society will be financially effected.”