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May this lockdown be the last – UK PM Boris Johnson – UPDATE

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LONDON, Feb 15 (Sky/Reuters) – Boris Johnson has set out his hope that the current COVID lockdown will be the last – thanks to the “unprecedented” vaccine rollout.

Speaking at a Downing Street news conference, the prime minister hailed the “astonishing efforts” of everyone involved in the delivery of COVID jabs after the government met its target of offering a first dose to 15 million of the most vulnerable.

World needs a global treaty on pandemics

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that world powers should clinch a global treaty on pandemics to ensure proper transparency after the novel coronavirus outbreak which originated in China.

Asked by Reuters who he held responsible for what Britain says is a lack of transparency on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, Johnson said: “I think its fairly obvious that most of the evidence seems to point to the disease having originated in Wuhan.”

“Therefore we all need to see as much as we possibly can about how that might have happened, the zoonotic questions that people are asking. I think we need as much data as possible,” he said.

“I think what the world needs to see is a general agreement on how we track data surrounding zoonotic pandemics,” he said. “We want a general agreement on transparency. I think one of the attractive ideas we have seen in the last few months is a proposal for a global treaty on pandemics.”

Vaccine Effectiveness

Britain cannot yet exactly say what the effect of COVID-19 vaccines is on the incidence of the pandemic but there is interesting data coming from Israel, Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said.

“We’re unable at the moment… precisely to quantify what that means in terms of driving down the incidence of the pandemic in this country, how fast that can go. That’s why we just have to be cautious at the moment,” he said.

“There’s some interesting data from Israel.”

UK chief medical officer: We need direct data link between vaccines and slowing death rate

Meanwhile, the British government’s chief medical adviser said on Monday he hoped to see a fall in the rates of severe disease and mortality from COVID-19 that followed the order in which people were vaccinated.

“What we will hope to see, in time, is we’ll actually see in order the rates going down of severe disease and mortality, exactly following the the order in which people were vaccinated,” Chris Whitty told reporters.

“If you look at the data for example from Israel, you actually can see the effect, in the UK we can calculate an effect but it’s much better when we can actually see it, when it’s big enough to actually be able to see.”

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Alistair Smout)

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