One of the UK’s senior-most medical chief has indicated that a vaccine against COVID could be ready to be deployed by the start of the New Year, according to a media report on Sunday.
Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer and one of the government advises on the corona virus pandemic, has reportedly told members of Parliament (MPs) that the vaccine was created at Oxford University and is manufactured by AstraZeneca could be ready for rollout soon after Christmas in December.
In India, the vaccine has a Serum Institute of India tie-up as it undergoes trials.
Quoting Van Tam as telling the MPs during a briefing last week The Sunday Times wrote “We aren’t light-years away from it. It isn’t a totally unrealistic suggestion that we could deploy a vaccine soon after Christmas. That would have a significant impact on hospital admissions and deaths.”
An MP who attended another briefing with Van-Tam; told the newspaper that the medic was “very bullish about the third stage AstraZeneca results; which he expects between the end of this month and the end of next.”
The MP said that “Van-Tam expects it to protect the elderly and vulnerable. He gave us to understand that it stopped the virus shedding in the young. He said he would expect vaccination to start in January.”
It comes as the UK government introduced new laws on Friday that would allow larger numbers of healthcare workers to administer flu and potential COVID vaccines.
Van-Tam said in reference to the new rules that; “COVID-19 vaccine is being developed at the speed which, if successful, will save lives.”
He added further “All vaccines must undergo three stages of clinical trials; and be assessed for safety and effectiveness by; the regulator before they are given to patients. The measures outline today aim to improve access; and strengthen existing safeguards protecting patients.”
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said that the new measures would increase access to vaccines against potentially killer diseases and also support the government’s plans for the roll-out of a potential COVI vaccine that is proven to be safe and effective through robust clinical trials and approved for use by the regulator.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said, “The National Health Service (NHS) has vast experience; in vaccinating millions of people against diseases every year.” He added, “These legal changes will help us in doing ready; to roll out a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it has passed clinical trials; and undergone rigorous checks by the regulator.”