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Brits could start getting Pfizer Covid jab as soon as next month, No.10 confirms

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The UK government has officially asked this country's vaccines watchdog to analyse the safety data of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, raising hopes for an end to Brits' Covid misery sooner rather than later.

Speaking from No.10 Downing Street on Friday night, Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the government has formally asked the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to assess the Pfizer jab, which is one of three now in later stages of development.

"This is another important step in tackling this pandemic, if a vaccine is approved it will of course be available across our NHS, to those who need it, free at the point of delivery."

He added: "I am working with all the devolved nations to make sure it is deployed fairly to all those who need it across the UK.

"The rollout will be a massive logistical challenge, but I know that the NHS can do it."

And Brits could be getting immunised as soon as two weeks from now, the health secretary confirmed.

"We will be ready to start vaccinating next month with the bulk of the rollout in the New Year," he said.

The news comes in the same week that the Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford University vaccines were all performing incredibly well in the latest safety tests.

The Pfizer vaccine is now believed to be 95% effective, the US Moderna vaccine can be transported at much higher temperatures which should make rolling it out easier, and the Oxford vaccine has been shown to perform better in older people – who are more at risk from coronavirus.

And earlier on Friday, news broke that all English adults will be eligible to receive a Covid vaccine by the end of January.

The NHS vaccine roll out plan was reportedly leaked to the Health Service Journal, which claimed that it is hoped the entirety of England will be vaccinated by early April.

NHS England’s Covid-19 vaccine deployment programme is based on the NHS plan to create huge capacity across GP-run facilities, “large scale mass vaccination sites”, NHS trusts, and “roving models” for those who cannot travel.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast on Friday morning, Mr Hancock said this Christmas "won't be fully normal", adding "there will have to be rules, unfortunately, to keep the virus under control".

But he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that while 2020 has been "such a difficult year", there are signs the current lockdown in England is working.

"There are promising signs that we have seen a flattening of the number of cases since lockdown was brought in and that is good news, though clearly there is further to go," he said.

  • Coronavirus
  • Lockdown

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