COVID jabs may be ready by Christmas, the NHS’s boss said and that the results of clinical trials were due within days, and Sir Simon Stevens stated that, if the vaccine is approved, he’d primed GPs for a December rollout.
He said yesterday on the eve of the lockdown that they were waiting to fire the starting pistol and that it could mean that Brits might get vaccinated when the country comes out of lockdown and just in time for Christmas.
Vaccine chiefs said the United Kingdom would have accumulated 14 million doses of the two front running jabs by the end of the year and NHS England boss Sir Simon Stevens stated yesterday it was a ten out of ten ready to roll out mass vaccinations.
Government sources said a verdict on one, made by US pharma colossus Pfizer, will be out imminently and Kate Bingham, chair of the UK vaccine task force, said patients could be receiving a safe and effective vaccine within weeks and that she was 50 per cent convinced that all vulnerable Brits would be vaccinated by Easter.
And NHS bosses say revolutionary plans to vaccinate millions in record time will see Nightingale hospitals become mass COVID vaccination centres and travelling teams will visit care homes, while paramedics, physios and other health workers will support GPs and nurses to help deliver the nationwide rollout.
Sir Simon said that their job was just to make sure that they were prepared and waiting and able to fire the starting pistol and he said, how certain are we that we will be able to get going with at least some coronavirus vaccinations before Christmas if it were available? He responded, ten out of ten.
Sir Simon said the working hypothesis is that elderly Brits will get the jab first, followed by frontline health and social care workers.
In a different briefing, Ms Bingham told MPs the probabilities of developing a vaccine that lowers infection and deaths are extremely high and that she expects to see favourable provisional data from two of the front runners, Oxford University and Pfizer within weeks.
Ministers have already secured 40 million doses of the Pfizer jab, enough to treat 20 million patients, with ten million set to be delivered by the end of next month.
Professor Andrew Pollard, from the Oxford team, said an effective vaccine would also be a tremendous benefit help for other patients and hopefully it will be a monumental success, the same as all other vaccine programmes have been.
Although, I think that we should remember the Thalidomide catastrophe, the marvel drug that wasn’t tested correctly and lots of women ended up having deformed children.
Vaccines are wonderful when they’ve been tested correctly, but I’m not convinced that this can be done in a year.
Furthermore, the swine flu vaccine, that was thought to have triggered narcolepsy in 800 people, especially children from the United Kingdom, and I fear that numerous people in the United Kingdom and other countries will not want to get immunised with the COVID jab.
There’s no vaccine for SARS, which is 18 years old, there’s no vaccine for MERS, 8 years old, both coronavirus’s, so what makes people believe they can get a vaccine within 12 months?
And of course, the Thalidomide drug wasn’t a vaccine, it was an anti morning sickness medication, but the point is, if vaccines and medications are not tested correctly, we have no concept of what long term consequences they can have on our bodies.