With several COVID-19 vaccines closing in on approval, join The Conversation for a virtual discussion with leading scientists as we consider what their impact will be in the first half of 2021.
Four health experts will discuss how the first COVID vaccines are set to roll out around the world, and what we can expect their effects to be – on the virus itself, on people’s health and liberties, as well as on the functioning of society.
We’ll begin by looking at where we’ve got to in the vaccine development race, and when we can expect the rollout of vaccines to begin. We’ll then discuss who will and will not have early access to a vaccine around the world, which vaccines are likely to be deployed in which areas, and whether there’s a risk of some people being left behind.
Next, we’ll consider what the likely impacts of the vaccines will be in the first half of next year. How quickly will we see them having an effect on the virus’s spread, and what effect will this have on what we can do? Should we start making plans for returning to normal? How soon until lockdowns, social distancing and other control measures become things of the past?
Finally, we’ll consider what practical challenges there could be to suppressing the virus, including how long rolling vaccines out will take, how many people will or will not want to take them, and what will happen if we can’t reach herd immunity – or if the protection they provide doesn’t last.
The Conversation’s Rob Reddick will chair the online discussion at 4pm GMT on December 1, with:
- Sarah Caddy, Clinical Research Fellow in Viral Immunology, University of Cambridge
- Adam Kleczkowski, Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Strathclyde
- Michael Head, Senior Research Fellow in Global Health, University of Southampton
- Lynn Williams, Reader in Psychology, University of Strathclyde