Rolling out a COVID-19 vaccine too quickly could be dangerous, Professor Robin Shattock — heading up trials of Imperial College London's Covid-19 jab — noted.
According to the expert, there are too many unanswered questions: for example, scientists do not yet know how long a potential vaccine can provide protection against infection. Moreover, it can be dangerous to give doses while the puzzle of immunity remains unsolved, Daily Mail reported.
Scientists do not yet know for sure whether immunity to the COVID-19 infection caused by the new virus is developed, or whether people can become infected again. Typically if a person gets a coronavirus that can cause the common cold they would only be protected for a couple of months, however, the immunity to another coronavirus that causes SARS disease persists for about 2 years.
Trials of potential vaccines for COVID-19 are now in their very early stages, and it is not yet known for certain whether vaccines can provide immunity and protect against infection. The vaccine developed at Imperial College London is scheduled to begin to be administered to volunteers from next week. However, Professor Shattock argues that the results are unlikely to appear before 2021.
Moreover, his team is not competing with the team at Oxford University, which is also working on the vaccine, he noted.
Oxford's vaccine has been in trials since April 23.