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The This Morning hosts were keen to chat to Professor Sikora about his controversial comments regarding a coronavirus vaccine. Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby asked first whether he had a background in virology, with the Professor exclaiming: “I have a background in immunology and obviously cancer.” But Phillip wasn’t impressed when he suggested the public should wait for coronavirus to die out.
Professor Sikora explained: “The whole entry system to the NHS has come to a halt and it’s just beginning to pick up.
“It’s a challenge to try and sort this out, which is why some positivity is really necessary because the vaccine, it’ll come, there’s no doubt.
“And when it comes, it’ll be fine but all the factors look as though things are changing with the pathogen and with us, as society.
“I’ve looked at the literature as to why pandemics end. In the past obviously there were no vaccines… they tend to follow the routes of travel.”
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He said of the plague: “It ended in a piffle, it just went ‘poof’ and went.
“The military metaphor would be, ‘We’re going to blast this virus and get it out.’ Mr Trump would love that.
“It’s not going to be like that, it’s just going to die quietly and go away.
“The question is, how much is society willing to take the risk to actually start moving out?”
It was this remark which shocked Phillip as he shut down the Professor by demanding to know: “How much of society is it going to take with it before it dies out?”
Not thrown off by Phillip’s comeback, Professor Sikora continued: “Exactly!
“If we have to wait until September to treat cancer patients something like 50,000 people will actually die of their cancer, which is more than have sadly died so far with the pandemic.
“So there’s a balance here, we’ve got to get moving, we’ve got to accept risk and people are so shattered now they don’t want to take any risk.
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“We don’t know how many people have been infected already in Britain, but it’s going up all the time and that’s good because eventually we’re going to get immune and the virus will basically drop in it’s incidents.
“It’s really amazing how the NHS has coped… the Nightingale Hospital was sort of an unnecessary and I just hope the vaccine’s unnecessary, but we’ve got to do it. There’s absolutely no doubt.
“We need to understand and have a backdrop, if I’m wrong basically and it doesn’t peter out. Who knows what’s going to happen?”
The Professor added there was evidence that the virus was petering out in other countries.
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“If you take the four countries that went back a month ago, Austria, Czech Republic, Norway and Denmark – they’ve seen no rise in it and it’s continued to go down, despite the unlocking of the whole lockdown process,” he commented.
“The R0, the magic number, that even my grandchildren know about aged four, we live in a crazy world.
“Even those countries have seen no increase in their number of cases, which is fantastic. Sure, you get little blips
“Can we do the same here? Yes, I think we’re very socially responsible here. I think the public’s response has been great.”
This Morning airs weekdays on ITV at 10am.
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