Tuesday 10 November 2020 7:53 am

UK government to NHS: be ready for (optional) vaccine from next month

The UK government has asked the NHS to be ready to deploy any Covid-19 vaccine from early next month. Once it starts rolling out the medication, the most vulnerable will be first in line, health secretary Matt Hancock said this morning.

“I have asked [the NHS] to be ready from the start of December,” Hancock told Sky News, adding that there were “many hurdles” ahead.

“Of course there are many hurdles that need to be gone over and we haven’t seen the full safety data and obviously that is critical and we won’t deploy a vaccine unless we can be confident in its clinical safety,” he added.

Optional, also for children

Separately, Hancock told the BBC this morning that the vaccine will be optional and children not need to be vaccinated.

Reports yesterday that a vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech was more than 90% effective led to a spike in financial market activity worldwide.

The UK anticipates to have 10 million doses of the vaccine available by the end of the year. Hancock did add he does not know when there would be an update on the trial results of a vaccine being produced by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.