Professor Jeremy Farrar, member of the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage), said he believes coronavirus vaccines will be available in the first quarter of next year.
Prof. Farrar told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday that it was important for the country to try now to reduce transmission to the levels of early September.
The Wellcome Trust director said, “I believe the vaccines will be available in the first quarter of next year. I believe that monoclonal antibodies will be available to treat patients and save lives in the months ahead.
“In this context, I think that we now have to reduce the transmission and move back to the beginning of September as a country, not piece by piece, not in fragments across the country, but as a whole country.”
According to Professor Farrar, now is “the second best time” for a national breaker shutdown.
He said it was “never too late” for national restrictions, adding, “Better to do it now than in a month.”
He said: “In my opinion, the best time to do this would have been September 20th, as Sage advised, which had not been decided at the time.
“The second best time to do this is now and the worst time to do it is at the end of November when it really would have gotten a lot worse.
“So it’s never too late, better to do it now than in a month.”