BORIS Johnson has hailed Britain’s brilliant vaccine developments as giving the nation “two big boxing gloves” to help defeat coronavirus.
The PM used PMQs today to congratulate scientists for their breakthrough – after it was revealed a potential vaccine may stop 90 per cent of people from becoming infected.
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He told MPs today that the news was positive, but Brits must not let up on following lockdown rules until it can be rolled out safely.
The PM insisted: “It’s fantastic news we now have the realistic prospect of a vaccine Mr Speaker.
“Science has given us two big boxing gloves, as it were, with which to pummel this virus.
“But neither of them is capable of delivering a knockout blow, and that’s why this country needs to continue to work hard and keep discipline.”
The PM has said while the vaccine news was welcome, it doesn’t mean the nation can slack off social distancing.
Masks and keeping apart will likely stay a key part of national live for months to come, he indicated.
Once it gets the green light, the elderly and health and care staff will be first in line, though most other people will not get a jab until 2021.
It will likely take until next spring or summer to get everyone a vaccine.
The Government has bought 40million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, but that will only be enough for 20million people as two jabs are needed.
They must be taken 28 days apart – and then another 14 days for them to be fully effective.
Hospitals and GPs have been told to get ready to dish out the vaccine within three weeks if it’s deemed to be safe in the coming days.
Regulators may take just a week to rubber stamp the vaccine – which is being created by pharma giant Pfizer.
Trial volunteer Glenn Deshields, 44, from Austin, Texas, compared the side effects to “a severe hangover” but said symptoms quickly cleared-up.
Another volunteer, 45-year-old Carrie from Missouri, said she experienced a headache, fever and body aches, after her first shot in September.
The side effects – which she compared to those from the flu jab – were worse after having her second dose last month, she said.
Who will be eligible for first Covid vaccine doses in UK?
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has examined data on who suffers the worst outcomes from coronavirus and who is at highest risk of death.
Its interim guidance says the order of priority should be:
- Older adults in a care home and care home workers
- All those aged 80 and over and health and social care workers, though they may move up the list
- Anyone 75 and over
- People aged 70 and over
- All those aged 65 and over
- High-risk adults under 65
- Moderate-risk adults under 65
- All those aged 60 and over
- All those 55 and over
- All those aged 50 and over
- The rest of the population, with priority yet to be determined.
Brits are expected to be among the first in the world to receive the vaccine, Health Secretary Matt Hancock today revealed.
Mr Hancock said the military and NHS staff are on standby to roll out a vaccine from the start of December and will work “seven days a week”, with GPs, new vaccination centres and pharmacists all playing a role.
Schools and shopping centres are expected to be used too to dish it out to as many people as possible
One million could be vaccinated by Christmas, it is estimated, if the vaccine gets approved shortly.