Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Prime Minister gives update on vaccine and testing

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Prime Minister gives update on vaccine and testing

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has given a statement on coronavirus (COVID-19). Johnson has confirmed that the Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine has been tested on over 40,000 volunteers, with the results suggesting it is 90% effective at protecting individuals against coronavirus. However, these findings need to be peer-reviewed and Johnson cautions that there are several more hurdles which must be overcome before the vaccine can be used. If the vaccine passes these hurdles, UK-wide NHS led programme of vaccine distribution will commence as the government ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Additionally, the Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed that rapid testing will be rolled out across England following the pilot in Liverpool.

Johnson states that the method of distribution for the vaccine will be decided in accordance with scientific recommendations and stressed that individuals must remain cautious of the virus.

The Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed that 600,000 tests will be sent out across England this week to local public health leaders followed by weekly local allocations, equivalent to 10% of their population. The testing is targeted at asymptomatic individuals who do not realise they could have the virus.

Sources:

• Prime Minister's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 9 November 2020

• UK government response to Pfizer/BioNTech’s publication of efficacy data of their COVID-19 vaccine

• More rapid COVID-19 tests to be rolled out across England

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