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World News

Meet the Christian leading the US search for a coronavirus vaccine

by Tola Mbakwe

A Christian scientist who is in charge of developing a Covid-19 vaccine in the US has told Premier his faith is sustaining during the intense moments of his job. 

Geneticist and physician Francis Collins is the director of the National Institutes of Health and is also 2020 Templeton Prize Laureate.

Collins has been in charge of many large and intense projects, including the Human Genome Project, but he told Premier's Unbelievable? host Justin Brierley the current coronavirus vaccine search is huge because of the urgency of the issue.

"[There's] this feeling that lives are at stake, and we're not through this yet. And if  we miss the opportunity to identify an effective treatment, or if our vaccines end up being badly chosen or come out three months later than they could have, people are going to lose their lives to that. And that does weigh upon me and I do many times have to ask God for some help. 

"We can't have even a day go by where something that could have happened, didn't because of some disorganisation, or lack of motivation. I'm surrounded by other people feel the same way."

Collins said he has been leaning on God during this "anxiety-producing period" that comes with the coronavirus pandemic. 

"Prayer really has helped me a lot… reading those Psalms, realising this is not the first time humanity has been faced with a plague." he said. 

"I shouldn't imagine that this is so exceptional that nobody else has ever experienced anything like it before."

Collins added that he is confident that an effective vaccine will be developed. 

"With all of the teams that are assembled right now and their willingness do whatever it takes to make this happen, and with God's grace, and I know God's suffers along with all those who are suffering from this virus, we will get through this, we will figure it out. 

"But the sooner we get there, the better that will be."

You can listen to Justin Brierley's full interview with Francis Collins Saturday at 6pm on Premier Christian Radio. 

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