The leader of the coronavirus vaccine team at Oxford University declared Tuesday that nothing is going to approach returning to normal until at least next Summer.
Professor Andrew Pollard said that face masks and social distancing rules are not going away any time soon, declaring that a vaccine is still months away and would only become available for key workers during the first phase of its rollout anyway.
“Life won’t be back to normal until summer at the earliest. We may need masks until July,” Pollard said during an online seminar with Oxford alumni.
“If we end up with a vaccine that’s effective in preventing the disease, that is by far the best way to control the virus. But in the medium term, we’ll still need better treatments,” the professor added.
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Over six thousand scientists and doctors have signed a petition against coronavirus lockdown measures, urging that those not in the at risk category should be able to get on with their lives as normal, and that lockdown rules in both the US and UK are causing ‘irreparable damage’.
Those who have signed include professors from the world’s leading universities. Oxford University professor Dr Sunetra Gupta was one of the authors of the open letter that was sent with the petition, along with Harvard University’s Dr Martin Kulldorff and Stanford’s Dr Jay Bhattacharya.
It declares that social distancing and mask mandates are causing ‘damaging physical and mental health impacts.’
The petition, dubbed the Great Barrington Declaration after the town in Massachusetts where it was written, has been signed by close to 54,000 members of the public at time of writing, as well as over 2600 medical and public health scientists and around 3500 medical practitioners.
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A third of the people recorded to have died from Covid-19 in July and August may have actually passed away due to other causes, such as cancer or being hit by a car, Oxford University research has suggested
Experts at Oxford University have found that around 30 per cent of those included in the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) coronavirus deaths toll over the summer actually died primarily from other conditions.
The data comes as the Government introduces its new Rule of Six measures to combat the further spread of the disease.
The study shows that people who may have died from cancer or who were run over and killed, but who had tested positive for coronavirus, were included among the virus deaths even though it did not kill them.
The University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute and the Oxford Vaccine Group began developing a COVID-19 vaccine, officially known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, that was taken from chimpanzees in January, according to Sky News.
However, there is only a 50 percent chance of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine working because cases in the UK are declining so fast, there may not be enough people to test it on, said the institute’s director Professor Adrian Hill.
The total number of lab-confirmed cases in the UK is 259,559 so far, and the daily number of lab-confirmed cases was 2,409 on Sunday, according to GOV.UK website.
Scientists have expressed doubts over the effectiveness of a coronavirus vaccine that has been rushed to human trials, after all of the monkeys used in initial testing later contracted coronavirus.
The British government has spent approximately £90 million on the research so far, however, Dr William Haseltine, a former Harvard Medical School professor, noted that the rhesus macaques monkeys who received the vaccine were found to have the same amount of virus in their noses as non-vaccinated monkeys in the trial.
“All of the vaccinated monkeys treated with the Oxford vaccine became infected when challenged.” Dr Haseltine wrote, adding that “There was no difference in the amount of viral RNA detected from (nasal secretions) in the vaccinated monkeys as compared to the unvaccinated animals.”
“Which is to say, all vaccinated animals were infected.” the doctor added.
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A women’s studies educator for Oxford University penned an opinion piece for The Huffington Post, explaining how she wants her university to lose the Covid-19 vaccine race, simply because those leading the research are too white and male, as opposed to more progressive research groups.
If a United Kingdom based university were to win the vital race to find a cure for the deadly coronavirus – which has already claimed more than 180,000 lives around the world – it may help perpetuate the function of “British excellence.”
Four studies from the University of Oxford, the American Society for Microbiology, the U.S. National Library of Medicine, and PLOS Pathogen outline the antiviral effects of zinc in the human body, including the immune system and respiratory system, and its efficacy against the common cold and coronavirus.
From Oxford Academic:
The Role of Zinc in Antiviral Immunity
Zinc is an essential trace element that is crucial for growth, development, and the maintenance of immune function. Its influence reaches all organs and cell types, representing an integral component of approximately 10% of the human proteome, and encompassing hundreds of key enzymes and transcription factors. Zinc deficiency is strikingly common, affecting up to a quarter of the population in developing countries, but also affecting distinct populations in the developed world as a result of lifestyle, age, and disease-mediated factors. Consequently, zinc status is a critical factor that can influence antiviral immunity, particularly as zinc-deficient populations are often most at risk of acquiring viral infections such as HIV or hepatitis C virus. This review summarizes current basic science and clinical evidence examining zinc as a direct antiviral, as well as a stimulant of antiviral immunity. An abundance of evidence has accumulated over the past 50 y to demonstrate the antiviral activity of zinc against a variety of viruses, and via numerous mechanisms. The therapeutic use of zinc for viral infections such as herpes simplex virus and the common cold has stemmed from these findings; however, there remains much to be learned regarding the antiviral mechanisms and clinical benefit of zinc supplementation as a preventative and therapeutic treatment for viral infections.