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The UK Government has set up the Vaccine Taskforce; a huge international effort to develop clinically safe and effective vaccines. The Vaccine Taskforce was the brainchild of Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK Government’s chief scientific advisor, who saw the need to drive forward the development of vaccines for the UK and internationally. The Vaccine Taskforce was set up under the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in May, 2020 to ensure that the UK population has access to vaccines as soon as possible. The Taskforce will also be working with international partners to ensure equitable access for worldwide populations, both rich or poor.
This article describes the work done so far; however, we still do not know that we will ever have a vaccine at all. It is important that we don’t get complacent or over-optimism, since the first generation of vaccines is likely to be imperfect. These vaccines might not prevent infection, but would reduce symptoms. Also they might not work for everyone or for long, requiring multiple vaccinations.