Normal life will not return until 2024 when the coronavirus pandemic is over globally, warns a top scientist.
It will take another three to four years for the world to go back to normal, Dr Clare Wenham, assistant professor of global health policy at the London School of Economics says.
Until then, the pandemic will dominate large parts of our lives.
Dr Wenham says when the vaccine is distributed across the world – only then can we go back to a life resembling normality.
Although countries such as the UK and Israel have made progress with vaccine roll-outs, not all countries are in the same position.
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.”
Even if the vaccination drive is as successful as possible in the UK and the population is protected, border controls will remain in place to avoid variants being brought in from other countries
This pandemic isn’t going to be over until it’s over globally,” Dr Wenham added.
The assistant professor said there was a “real imperative” to make sure that all populations had access to coronavirus vaccines.
This weekend the World Health Organisation urged the UK to pause its vaccination programme once vulnerable groups have received their jabs to help ensure the global rollout is fair.
WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said she wanted to appeal to people in the UK, telling them “you can wait”, because ensuring equitable global distribution is “clearly morally the right thing to do”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he aims to offer all UK adults the first dose by autumn, but the WHO has said countries should be aiming for “two billion doses” to be “fairly distributed” around the world by the end of 2021.
The UK currently has one of the highest levels of vaccine coverage, along with Israel and the UAE, but many poorer countries are yet to start any immunisations.
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