A friend of mine who is a top doctor emailed me this week: “The end is in sight.” His message was not one of doom but celebration. He had just heard the inspirational news about the success of the anti-Covid vaccine developed by the partnership of Oxford University and AstraZeneca. In extensive trials, this vaccine has proved to be up to 90 percent effective, depending on the size of the dosage.
My friend was right to be jubilant. Finally, there is real hope that the depressing cycle of lockdown and contagion will soon be broken. The Oxford breakthrough was uplifting enough in itself, but it follows reports this month that two other vaccines, made by Pfizer and Moderna, have turned out to be 95 percent effective.
Meanwhile a string of other jabs, like the Russian Sputnik V, are undergoing preliminary tests, heightening the prospect that there could soon be a formidable pharmaceutical arsenal against coronavirus.
In our hour of need, science has come to the rescue of humanity. The gloom of Covid is beginning to recede before the light of medical research. With large scale immunisation programmes now feasible, some kind of normality could be achieved by the spring.
As a restricted Christmas approaches, we may be in the midst of the last gasp of this malignant disease.
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