Dr Hans Kluge said there may not be a vaccine within a year and it might not work for everybody. He insisted hand washing and social distancing will be just as important to combat coronavirus.
Asked if a vaccine “changes everything”, Dr Kluge told the Daily Mail: “No. Everyone thinks that a vaccine is a panacea.
“First of all we don’t know if a vaccine will work in all age groups.
“Nobody knows [when there will be a vaccine]. My dream would be within a year. It’s possible but it’s also very possible it will not be in one year.
“But everyone talks about it as if it’s a silver bullet. But it’s absolutely not.
“I mean, 100 years ago we had Spanish flu and what was the best strategy? The same as now, hand washing and distancing.”
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7.40am update: Government will change law to enforce local lockdown in Leicester – Hancock
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News: “We will be bringing forward a legal change very shortly, in the next couple of days, because some of the measures that we’ve unfortunately had to take in Leicester will require legal underpinning.”
Mr Hancock said “in some cases” the lockdown would be enforced by the police, while legal changes would be made so non-essential retail is no longer open.
When pressed on how people would be stopped from travelling outside the city, he said: “We’re recommending against all but essential travel both to and from and within Leicester, and as we saw during the peak, the vast majority of people will abide by these rules.
“Of course we will take further action including putting in place laws if that is necessary but I very much hope it won’t be.”
7.30am update: Germany’s coronavirus cases rise by 498
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Germany has increased by 498 to 194,259, according to the latest figures released by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).
The death toll has jumped by 12 to 8,973.
7.25am update: Tougher restrictions imposed on Leicester to combat virus surge
Tougher restrictions are coming into force in Leicester following a surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the city.
Non-essential shops will be closed from today in a bid to combat the spike and people have been advised against all but essential travel.
The planned further easing of lockdown measures on Saturday will not take place in the East Midlands city.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said Leicester’s seven-day infection rate was 135 cases per 100,000 – three times that of the next highest city.