Nov 15 2020
At the beginning of the week we heard some good news. BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine, developed with the help from US partner Pfizer and China’s Fosun announced that their inoculation, based on never used before mRNA technology was found to be 90% effective in phase three trials involving more than 43,000 participants. The companies now plan to apply for emergency approval to use the vaccine by the end of November - and a limited number of people may get the vaccine this year. The UK has already ordered 40 million doses - enough to vaccinate up to 20 million people as each person will need two doses for it to work effectively. Other vaccine programmes are also anticipated to make announcements soon.
The last nine months have been some of the most challenging for us all, but news of a possible vaccine gives us hope. Of course there are further hurdles to be overcome before a vaccine can be made available, and any roll out will take time. Until then, we must all continue to play our part by washing our hands, using face coverings when moving about indoors and in classes, and maintaining social distancing.
Vaccines and hygiene are two important building blocks in living with coronavirus (Covid-19). A third building block is testing and you will have heard that there are plans for asymptomatic testing on campus both to help students get home for Christmas, but also to offer routine asymptomatic testing from January that will support our on campus learning. In the meantime, please continue to check for updates here and follow @RHCampusLife on Instagram and Twitter for information and ideas on learning during lockdown.

Professor Paul Layzell,