Great Britain

Small amounts of coronavirus vaccine ‘could be available before the end of the year’

XMAS HOPE?

SMALL amounts of a coronavirus vaccine could be ready before the end of the year, according to the Government’s chief scientific adviser.

Sir Patrick Vallance said a number of candidates have shown they can generate an immune response that ought to be protective.

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He added: “It is possible that some vaccine could be available before the end of the year for certain groups.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told ITV’s This Morning a “mass roll-out” of a vaccine could be seen in the early part of next year.

He said: “There’s still a chance of it coming on stream before Christmas.

“The first people who will get it are the most vulnerable — people in care homes and older people.”

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty has warned that the virus is not getting milder as some people have suggested.

He said: "Lots of people have said maybe this is a milder virus than it was in April.

"But I'm afraid, although that would be great if that were true, we see no evidence that is the case."

Sir Patrick added that the size of the UK population with antibodies was still low, making the "vast majority" of people "susceptible" to Covid-19.

He said: "What we see is that something under 8% of the population have been infected as we measure the antibodies.

"So 8%, about three million or so people, may have been infected and have antibodies.

"It means the vast majority of us are not protected in any way and are susceptible to this disease."

Matt Hancock says 'still hope' of coronavirus vaccine this year - but 'early next year' more likely

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