AN ACADEMIC has high hopes for Covid-19 vaccines and the potential for “herd immunity.”

Dr John Campbell, a retired lecturer of nurses and A&E nurse has been watching the Covid-19 pandemic closely.

Although full results are still pending, recent developments in Oxford labs are promising.

“All age groups have a similar immunity response, it’s remarkably good news. But until we get that phase three data it’s just an academic exercise.”

The AstraZeneca vaccine is yet to return full results as not enough volunteers in the placebo group have tested positive to know the effects.

Having studied similar illnesses years, including the SARS Coronavirus 1 which struck in 2003, he hopes, unlike some academics that herd immunity is a possibility.

“What we know is that the most similar viruses to SARS Coronavirus 2 (the current epidemic) have caused natural immunity. Given the biochemical similarity I am personally very confident that immunity through infection is going to be long term.”

There are currently four vaccines in the works. The UK has pre-ordered doses of Moderna and Pfizer in the millions, the AstraZeneca vaccine to the tune of 10 million doses.

Dr Campbell said: "They're putting money into all the new vaccines, betting on every horse in the race."

However, the Pfizer vaccine hailed as 95 per cent effective could be the best bet.

Dr Campbell expects the American vaccine to quickly pass through checks.

"You can demonstrate the side effects of the vaccine two months after the first does has been given, that has now been done, they're seeing no side effects, therefore I would expect the administration in the US to release this vaccine in the next few weeks.

"I think this vaccine will be injected in the UK by December."

Post-infection immunity and effective vaccines are key to herd immunity and beating the virus but some groups of scientists believe Covid-19 could become endemic, resurfacing every Winter.