Scientists behind COVID-19 vaccines could be in the running to win the Nobel Prize in medicine even though the pandemic is far from over. Some scientists say it is just a matter of time: If the work that went into developing the vaccines is not recognized when this year's prize is announced on Monday, it will win the award in years to come.

More than 4.7 million people have died from COVID-19 since the first cases of the novel coronavirus were registered in 2019, and many countries still live under severe restrictions intended to curb its spread.

But COVID-19 vaccines have helped some wealthy states return almost to normality while others are yet to receive vaccine doses in large quantities.