People may have to adapt themselves to the new coronavirus as there is no guarantee that a vaccine can be successfully developed, one of the world’s leading experts on the disease has warned. David Nabarro, professor of global health at Imperial College, London, and an envoy for the World Health Organisation on COVID -19, made the statement as the global affected cases crossed 2 million.

In an interview with The Observer, Nabarro said the public would have to adapt to the ongoing threat as cases keep on increasing.

“You don’t necessarily develop a vaccine that is safe and effective against every virus. Some viruses are very, very difficult when it comes to vaccine development - so for the foreseeable future, we are going to have to find ways to go about our lives with this virus as a constant threat.

“That means isolating those who show signs of the disease and also their contacts. Older people will have to be protected. In addition, hospital capacity for dealing with cases will have to be ensured. That is going to be the new normal for us all.”

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently said that a COVID-19 could take 12 to 18 months to develop, test and approve for public use. But new vaccines typically take years to earn approval. Experts told Live Science that, for any other vaccine, the timeline would be unrealistic. But given the current situation, a COVID-19 vaccine could be ready sooner.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 60 candidate vaccines are now in development, worldwide, and several have entered early clinical trials in human volunteers.

Meanwhile, on Friday, Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, warned that there was no evidence that antibody tests now being developed would show if a person has immunity or is no longer at risk of becoming reinfected by the COVID-19 virus.