Coronavirus Pandemic

Coronavirus: Life back to normal by spring? UK expert says 'Yes, yes, yes'

Agencies/London, United Kingdom
Filed on November 9, 2020
Reguis Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford Sir John Bell.

(PA Images via Reuters)

Professor John Bell hails Pfizer's experimental vaccine and says no reason 'why we shouldn't have a handful of good vaccines available to this disease'.

One of the teams racing to develop a coronavirus vaccine announced Monday its drug had shown 90 per cent effectiveness against the illness, sending stock markets soaring and raising hopes of an end to draconian restrictions on movement.

US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said tests involving more than 40,000 people had provided results that were a "critical milestone" in the search for a vaccine, as global infections soared passed 50 million -- almost one-fifth of them in the United States.

John Bell, regius professor of medicine at University of Oxford who sits on the British government's vaccine taskforce, told BBC Radio he could not see "any reason now why we shouldn't have a handful of good vaccines available to this disease".

He added that he was "optimistic that given this result, we'll have a reasonably good chance of getting a good result as well," referring to Oxford's own late-stage trial results he said would come in "weeks not months".

Asked if life would be returning to normal by the spring, Oxford's Bell said: "Yes, yes, yes."

"I'm probably the first guy to say that but...I will say that with some confidence."

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