Great Britain

Coronavirus vaccine chief warns Oxford jab could be MANDATORY in UK to control spread

Sir John Bell from the University of Oxford said Britain may get to a position where it is necessary to make the coronavirus vaccine mandatory. It comes after the Oxford jab’s interim data suggested it was 70 percent effective at protecting people from the virus.

The researchers have said the vaccine’s figure could be as high as 90 percent after tweaking the dose.

Speaking to BBC Newsnight, Sir Bell said he is actually “firmly against” mandating a vaccine in the country.

But he warned that it could be possibly in order to control the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

He said: “I think you do have to persuade people to come along.

Coronavirus vaccine

The coronavirus vaccine could become mandatory in the UK in order to control the spread (Image: getty)

Sir John Bell on BBC

Sir John Bell said Britain may get to a position where it is necessary to make the vaccine mandatory (Image: BBC)

“Having said that we may get to a position where it’s necessary in order to control transmission.

“To know who is protected from developing the disease and who isn’t.”

Sir Bell explained the protection can come in one of two ways.

He said: “One is you could have had the disease and I think there is now increasing evidence that if you’ve had the disease … you are protected against the disease for a period of time.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus Christmas warning: Boris says be careful 

coronavirus vaccine

Sir Bell said he is actually “firmly against” mandating a vaccine in the country (Image: BBC)

He added: “And then if you get a vaccine you’ll be protected against the disease.

“So it may be necessary for some activities to require people to be able to show that they are protected against the disease or have recently had a test.”

The new results from the Oxford vaccine were praised despite Pfizer and Moderna’s figures which showed 95 percent protection.

However, experts have highlighted how the Oxford jab is much cheaper and easier to store which allow it to reach a greater number of people in the UK and across the world.

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coronavirus vaccine

The Oxford jab’s interim data suggested it was 70 percent effective at protecting people (Image: getty)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the results were “incredibly exciting news”.

He added that while there are still safety checks needed “these are fantastic results”.

Speaking at Downing Street on Monday, he said the majority of people most in need of a vaccine in the UK could possibly get one by Easter.

Professor Robert Winston from Imperial College London told BBC Newsnight that her is concerned the anti-vaccine movement could undermine the roll-out of the jab in the future.

He also warns against being too “over optimistic” about the news.

Coronavirus news: Ambulance

Over 55 thousand people have died from the coronavirus in the UK (Image: getty)

He said: “There are a lot of young people who are really very very sceptical and somewhat suspicious.”

The UK Government has pre-ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford jab.
The pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said it will make three billion doses of the vaccine for the world next year.

So far over 55 thousand people have died from the coronavirus in the UK according to official figures.

There have also been a total of more than 1.5 million COVID-19 cases in the country.

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