Race for coronavirus vaccine could risk making the pandemic WORSE if an ineffective jab is developed, scientists warn
- Experts told the WHO that an ineffective vaccine is worse than no vaccine at all
- An Oxford scientist also hit out at the ‘capitalistic’ race to find a Covid-19 cure
- Ministers said the UK would push any vaccine through the regulatory process
The global race for a coronavirus vaccine could risk worsening the pandemic, leading scientists warn.
Experts advising the World Health Organisation say that an ineffective vaccine is worse than no vaccine at all as it would make people complacent.
A leading scientist at the University of Oxford also hit out at the ‘capitalistic’ race to find a Covid-19 cure.
Ministers announced on Friday that the UK would take emergency powers to push any vaccine through the regulatory processes.
A leading scientist at the University of Oxford also hit out at the ‘capitalistic’ race to find a Covid-19 cure (stock photo)
Donald Trump has also said a vaccine could be available in the US before the presidential election on November 3.
But experts have advised the WHO to be cautious.
The Solidarity Vaccines Trial Expert Group warned: ‘Deployment of a weakly effective vaccine could actually worsen the Covid-19 pandemic if authorities wrongly assume it causes a substantial reduction in risk, or if vaccinated individuals wrongly believe they are immune.’
They recommend that a vaccine should at least be 50 per cent effective to be approved.
Oxford University epidemiologist Professor Sir Richard Peto added that rushing to approve a vaccine could set a poor benchmark for future vaccines.
He told The Guardian: ‘I think there’s a big rush, a somewhat nationalistic rush and also somewhat capitalistic rush as well, to be absolutely first to register a vaccine, and it will actually make it more difficult to evaluate other vaccines.
‘We do need a vaccine that works and we need it soon.’
But he cautioned: ‘We really do need quite strong evidence of efficacy.’
He added that if a vaccine with low efficacy was approved it would set the standard that all future vaccines would be measured by
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