Health Minister Nadine Dorries, who recovered from a coronavirus last month, denounced journalists questioning the government over the UK’s “exit strategy”. In an extraordinary tweet, she said the government will not lift the national lockdown until a vaccine is made, which experts say will not be available for 18 months. The Conservative MP said: “Journalists should stop asking questions about an” exit strategy “.
“Until then, we must find ways to adapt society and strike a balance between the health of the nation and our economy. “
Piers Morgan, the host of Good Morning Britain, said the statement was “astonishing” and described it as a remarkable departure from previous government statements about the end of the foreclosure.
Other social media users have reacted furiously to the Minister of Health’s comment.
One person said, “If we have to wait 12 to 18 months for a vaccine, what will be left of it?” Mass unemployment, mass poverty and an epidemic of mental health of seismic proportions ”.
Another user wrote: “If we continue this much longer without certain sectors being able to return to work, we will have nothing more to do if we have to wait 9 to 18 months for a vaccine. “
A third asked what happens if scientists do not offer a vaccine.
They wrote, “There is no guarantee of a vaccine. What is the plan if we fail to get one, eternal lockdown? “
Another person said, ” She has no idea. The lockdown will end when we can speed up testing and determine the true infection rate in the population. ”
During the daily coronavirus press conference, Health Secretray, Matt Hancock, said that the national foreclosure would not be lifted until he was sure it was done.
British scientists are competing with dozens of laboratories around the world to be the first to develop a coronavirus vaccine, but it is not expected to be ready before 18 months.
The World Health Organization said there are currently 70 vaccines under development.
Three different groups, one in China and two in the United States, have already started human trials.
Scientists at the University of Oxford will begin human trials next week, having already recruited 510 volunteers.
Researchers are confident they will have a vaccine ready by the fall.
But public health officials say it will take another year to 18 months to fully validate any potential vaccine – despite the start of human trials.
Last month, Britain’s chief scientific adviser said it would take at least 2021 before a vaccine is ready.
The Ministry of Health was approached for comment.