A leading doctor has said that life globally will not return to normal "for two or three years" based on the current vaccination rollout, despite early signs that jabs are decreasing cases in the UK.
Dr Clare Wenham, assistant professor of global health policy at London School of Economics, provided the assessment to Sky News, saying that the COVID-19 pandemic will not be over until the world's population is protected from the disease.
"At the moment, the data is showing it's going to be 2023/24 before the global vaccines are distributed to everybody," she said. "That's a long time. And distributing some now might be able to get us back to normal life sooner."
Despite the UK giving the first round of vaccines to over 9 million people so far, with a record number given doses over the weekend, international border controls will still remain due to the array of COVID-19 variants popping up in different parts of the world.
"This pandemic isn't going to be over until it's over globally," Dr Wenham said. We're still going to be living in some form of restrictions - travel restrictions, border controls - even when we're vaccinated, until it's over round the world. So there's a real imperative to make sure that everybody round the world has at least minimum levels of vaccines at the same time."
Domestically, Boris Johnson has said that the UK may implement a nationwide rather than regional tier system after the current lockdown.
Mr Johnson told reporters in Batley, West Yorkshire: "It may be that a national approach, going down the tiers in a national way, might be better this time round, given that the disease is behaving much more nationally. If you look at the way the new variant has taken off across the country, it's a pretty national phenomenon.