But Chris Whitty warns country not to “go wild” over Christmas.
Boris Johnson has indicated that the majority of people most in need of a covid-19 vaccination might be able to get one by Easter.
Underlining the recent huge strides made in developing a vaccine in recent weeks, the UK prime minister highlighted the April 4 festival as a date to get the jab to the vulnerable so long as there’s a “favourable wind”.
It came as the Oxford-AstraZeneca team said its jab had proved 70% effective, and follows positive results from Pfizer and Moderna.
None of the jabs have yet been approved for use and getting people vaccinated will be a major undertaking.
Johnson, who is self-isolating, made the comments via video-link at a Downing Street press conference with chief medical officer professor Chris Whitty and Oxford Vaccine Group director professor Andrew Pollard.
He said: “If we can roll it out at a good lick … roll both vaccines out, or all three vaccines, potentially at a good lick … with a favourable wind … this is entirely hypothetical … we should be able to inoculate the vast majority of people who need the most protection by Easter.
“That would make a very substantial change to where we are at the moment.”
Earlier in the House of Commons, Johnson referred to making sure the most vulnerable have been vaccinated, adding: “Terminus, that end date, looks like being Easter. We may be able to do better and make considerable improvements before Easter, but we should aim for Easter.”
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