Dr Hans Kluge said there may not be a vaccine within a year and it might not work for everybody. He insisted hand washing and social distancing will be just as important to combat coronavirus.
Asked if a vaccine “changes everything”, Dr Kluge told the Daily Mail: “No. Everyone thinks that a vaccine is a panacea.
“First of all we don’t know if a vaccine will work in all age groups.
“Nobody knows [when there will be a vaccine]. My dream would be within a year. It’s possible but it’s also very possible it will not be in one year.
“But everyone talks about it as if it’s a silver bullet. But it’s absolutely not.
“I mean, 100 years ago we had Spanish flu and what was the best strategy? The same as now, hand washing and distancing.”
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9.15am update: Britain’s most senior police officer urges public to be calm and sensible when pubs reopen
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said her force has been planning for pubs reopening in England on July 4 “for some time”.
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “You will see a lot of police officers out on the street. There will be a lot more ready should people be out of order, should people get violent. But I’m not predicting that at this stage.”
Dame Cressida added: “My message is, if you’re coming out on Saturday, be calm, be sensible. Look after yourself, look after your family. We are still in a global pandemic which is affecting this country very obviously. People need to be sensible.”
9am update: Health Secretary defends Government’s ‘whack-a-mole’ strategy for tackling outbreaks.
Matt Hancock told Sky News: “The strategy is to allow for the opening up of the rest of the country, giving people their freedoms back where it is safe to do so.
“But we also need alongside that to take local action where there is a specific flare-up.”
Parents in England could face fines if they refuse to send their children back to school in September, the Education Secretary has warned – but do you agree with financial penalties being brought in?
Express.co.uk readers can have their say in our poll on whether parents should be fined if they do not send their children back in September.
Speaking on Monday, Gavin Williamson told LBC: “It is going to be compulsory for children to return back to school unless there’s a very good reason, or a local spike where there have had to be local lockdowns.
“We do have to get back into compulsory education as part of that, obviously fines sit alongside that.
“Unless there is a good reason for the absence then we will be looking at the fact that we would be imposing fines on families if they are not sending their children back.”