Sunday, 29 Nov 2020

‘Safe and effective’ Covid-19 vaccine could be weeks away claims Trump adviser

A "safe and effective" coronavirus vaccine could be ready in weeks, US President Donald Trump's top medical adviser has claimed.

Dr Anthony Fauci, who is a senior medical advisor for the US government, believes a vaccine will be ready “by the end of November”.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show, the 79-year-old physician and immunologist expressed hope that vaccinations could then be rolled out across the globe soon after.

However he warned it would take several months for “everybody” to be vaccinated against the deadly Covid-19 virus – which has already claimed over 1.15million lives around the world.

Speaking to the BBC show on Sunday, Dr Fauci said: “We will know whether a vaccine is safe and effective by the end of November, the beginning of December.

“But the question is, once you have a safe and effective vaccine, or more than one, how can you get it to the people who need it as quickly as possible?

“The amount of doses that will be available in December will not certainly be enough to vaccinate everybody, you'll have to wait several months into 2021.”

He continued: “(Vaccinations) could start by the end of this year, the beginning of January, February, March of next year.

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“When you talk about vaccinating a substantial proportion of the population, so that you can have a significant impact on the dynamics of the outbreak, that very likely will not be in to the second or third quarter.”

His claim comes amid Mail on Sunday reports of an email sent by an NHS Trust chief planning a staff vaccine scheme to be ready to go by early December.

In a memo to staff by Glen Burley, the chief executive of George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust in Warwickshire, it was declared: “Our Trust, alongside NHS organisations nationally, has been told to be prepared to start a Covid-19 staff vaccine programme in early December.

“The latest intelligence states a coronavirus vaccine should be available this year with NHS staff prioritised prior to Christmas.”

Many hopes have been pinned on the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine trial – which has been funded by the UK and USA.

The UK has already pre-order 100 million doses of the vaccine so it can be distributed if found to be safe.

While the USA has pre-ordered 400 million doses of the same vaccine while it waits for a green light.

The news follows on the heels of reports that the UK government has passed laws to bypass the EU approval process should the vaccine prove safe and be ready before the end of the post-Brexit transition period on December 31 to allow the vaccine to be rolled out in UK without delay.

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