Prince William visits vaccine research facility

Prince William admitted the possibility of indefinite social distancing is “quite frightening” as he met with scientists working to find a coronavirus vaccine.

The 38-year-old royal toured the laboratory at the Oxford Vaccine Group’s facility at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford on Wednesday, and praised the scientists working “non-stop” to defeat Covid-19.

Speaking to Professor Sarah Gilbert, who is leading the clinical trial of a potential vaccine, and Professor Andrew Pollard, director of the vaccine group, William asked why they were “so far ahead” with their research.

Britain’s Prince William, left, wears a mask as he meets scientist Christina Dold, right, during a visit to the manufacturing laboratory where a vaccine against Covid-19 has been produced, at the Oxford Vaccine Group’s facility at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, England, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. Picture: Steve Parsons/Pool photo via AP

He added: “I was speaking to an expert the other day who said there were 1.5 million potential viruses that could hop from animals into humans. Hopefully this will be a wake up call to people.”

Professor Pollard explained the vaccine was “pretty straightforward” compared with other diseases, but admitted that without immunisation, preventing the virus from spreading would mean “there is nothing we could do apart from social distancing forever”.

The prince replied: “Quite frightening.”

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