A coronavirus vaccine is likely to have been given to every person over 50 who needs one by Easter, the head of the UK Vaccine taskforce has claimed.
The private comments by Kate Bingham emerged after Boris Johnson urged the public to stay “optimistic” about scientific breakthroughs as the country returns to lockdown.
Speaking to a US-hosted investors’ forum, she said a dress rehearsal for rolling out a vaccine was scheduled to have completed on Saturday.
“It’s been quick and it’s been efficient,” said Ms Bingham. “This has definitely exceeded my expectations of what was possible.”
At least two candidates, including the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine, are currently in phase three, with experts hoping the data from the Oxford trial to be available in December.
On Sunday, one of the most senior scientists on the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), Sir Jeremy Farrar, said he believed “more than one” vaccine will prove to be useful, and that results should be available before New Year.
“They may not be perfect, we’ve become used to perfect vaccines, but generally these first wave of vaccines are not perfect but they’re safe and they are effective and they will change the nature of the pandemic,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.
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