A Covid-19 vaccine could be rolled out across the UK by the end of the month, government scientists have reportedly said.
Those working on the AstraZeneca vaccine in Oxford are hoping that regulators approve it within the next three months, The Times reported.
A mass roll-out could happen quicker than expected, according to the report, which said that every adult could receive a dose of the vaccine within six months, while children would be excluded.
It comes after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Thursday it had started reviewing data on the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine in real time, in order to speed up any approval process for it across the continent.
It is currently in the final phase of clinical trials, despite being temporarily paused at the start of September after one participant suffered adverse side effects.
The vaccine candidate is seen as leading the race among other possible Covid-19 vaccines and could be the first approved in Europe.
If it is successfully approved, the government will also consider allowing a much wider group of healthcare staff to administer the vaccine as part of its immunisation programme.
This would involve drive-through vaccination centres and recruiting the help of armed forces.