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Speaking to Sky News, the Health Secretary hailed the news coming from major coronavirus vaccination studies in the US and the UK and said there is “hope” for a vaccine to be rolled out in Britain in a matter of just “weeks”. He said: “Obviously no Covid vaccination has been signed yet but there are encouraging signs of hope. And we heard again this week good news on the AstraZeneca vaccine and on the Pfizer vaccine as well.
“So the NHS is getting those plans in place to be able to run a mass Covid vaccination programme alongside the biggest flu vaccination programme in history.
“So it’s a big task but the NHS is up to it.”
Asked if the UK is “weeks away” from a mass vaccination from Covid, he said: “That’s the hope.
“Nothing is guaranteed yet. Actually the big numbers if it comes through are more likely to be announced in the New Year rather than before Christmas because we are absolutely determined that any vaccination programme will be safe.
“But nevertheless we have had really encouraging news over the last few weeks on the main vaccinations.
“In the meantime is important that people keep following the rules.”
There are signs that coronavirus cases in Britain are starting to flatten as a result of current lockdowns, Mr Hancock added, paving the way for a Christmas period with less stringent restrictions.
“There are encouraging signs that the number of cases is starting to flatten, and that the lockdown that we brought in, earlier this month, is working,” he said, adding that a UK-wide approach to rules for Christmas was being worked on.
“It of course won’t be like a normal Christmas, there will have to be rules in place, but we hope that they’ll allow for a bit more of that normal Christmas that people really look forward to.”
More to follow…
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