Moderna's chief executive Stéphane Bancel said there will be enough jabs to vaccinate the world's 8billion people by the middle of next year and he expects a return to normal by this time in 2022
The coronavirus pandemic will have blown over by next year, according to the boss of one of the first drug giants to get a Covid vaccine approved.
Moderna's chief executive Stéphane Bancel said enough jabs will have been made to vaccinate all of the world's 7.7billion people by the middle of next year.
Asked when life would return to normal, he said: 'As of today, in a year, I assume.'
Meanwhile, an array of top experts have also lined up to talk down the threat of the virus, which officially emerged in China at the end of 2019.
Sir John Bell, one of the Government's advisers on vaccines, today claimed Britain was 'over the worst' and 'should be fine' once winter has passed.
Oxford University's Dame Sarah Gilbert, who helped create AstraZeneca's jab, last night reiterated that Covid will eventually just become a cold — which some scientists tracking the UK's outbreak say is already happening.
And in another ray of hope, Dame Sarah also insisted it was unlikely to mutate into an even deadlier variant.
Influential SAGE member Professor Neil Ferguson today also claimed it was unlikely another full-blown lockdown would be needed.
But the Imperial College London epidemiologist, whose grisly projections spooked ministers into first lockdown last spring, echoed warnings from No10 that some restrictions could be needed if pressure starts to explode on hospitals.
The Prime Minister has already rolled the pitch for the return of masks, work from home guidance and vaccine passports when he unveiled his winter plan to fight Covid last week.
Daily hospitalisation admissions are currently dropping, with 747 Covid-infected Britons seeking care on September 18 — down nearly a fifth in a week.
But cases finally appear to be on the rise again, in what some experts believe may be a delayed back-to-school wave. Experts feared the return of millions of pupils would trigger a meteoric spike in infections after cases spiralled to record highs in Scotland, when children went back in mid-August.
Sir John Bell (left), one of the Government's advisers on vaccines, said Britain was 'over the worst' and 'should be fine' once winter has passed. And Professor Neil Ferguson (right) today also claimed unlikely another full-blown lockdown would be needed
Department of Health data contradicts the ZOE study, showing that Covid cases rose week-on-week for the last five days. But it is picking up a surge among younger age groups, which matches the study
Infection rates across the UK rose by 13 per cent yesterday compared to one week earlier, with 34,460 cases recorded, according to official Department of Health and Social Care.
It marks the fifth day in a row that cases have ticked upwards.
But mirroring the drop seen in hospital admissions, 166 deaths were recorded, down 17 per cent from last week.
It comes as Mr Bancel told Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung the outbreak could be over within 12 months, as a hike in global vaccine production will ensure there is enough to double-jab everyone in the world.
The number of Britons falling ill with Covid every day fell five per cent last week, according to one of the country's biggest surveillance projects.
But the data showed there was an uptick in infections among under-18s, in yet another sign of a delayed back-to-school wave of infections. Experts warned cases would spiral after children returned to classrooms in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in September.
Professor Tim Spector, who leads the study, warned today that the UK still had one of the highest infection rates in Europe and called for the Covid symptoms list to be updated to help get a handle on infections.
He said the classic three symptoms — cough, fever and loss of taste and smell — were rarer these days thanks to vaccines which had made the virus more like a bad cold. He said other warning signs like a sore throat, runny nose and sneezing should be added to the list.
The symptom-tracking apps figures differ from the Department of Health dashboard, which shows Covid cases have risen week-on-week for the last five days. But both are pointing to a surge in cases among youngsters.
Experts have warned the study — also run by health data science company ZOE — is becoming less reliable because vaccines have made it harder to pick out Covid from other respiratory infections like flu. Almost nine in ten over-16s have got at least one dose of the jab.
Latest figures from Test and Trace showed the number of people that tested positive for the virus in England fell 22 per cent last week, after there were 161,923 positive tests. This was the lowest number since the end of June.
He said: 'If you look at the industry-wide expansion of production capacities over the past six months, enough doses should be available by the middle of next year so that everyone on this earth can be vaccinated.
And there will be enough injections to give boosters to everyone who needs them and vaccinate children, he said.
People who don't get a vaccine will inevitably catch the virus and get antibodies from