Britain’s health minister Matt Hancock said on Tuesday that under the “best-case scenario” a COVID-19 vaccine will be ready for Christmas.
Answering questions from the UK parliament’s science and technology committee, Hancock described himself as “an optimist in life”, adding that “on the best-case scenario, the answer (on whether a vaccine would be rolled out for Christmas) is yes.”
It comes after scientists at the University of Oxford revealed on Monday that a vaccine under development had produced “good immune response in almost everybody”.
“Vaccines are an uncertain science, and we need to be cautious,” Hancock said, promising to “throw everything” at the vaccine being trialled so that it can be rolled out as quickly as possible.
“We’re working really hard on this but I can’t promise to play Santa,” he cautioned. “We’ll only recommend a vaccine when we know that it is clinically safe.”
Hancock also pledged to make the vaccine available to other countries: “Our approach on the vaccine is to be global citizens”.
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