Britain’s health minister said on Monday that even if progress with the COVID-19 vaccine is made as quickly as possible, the majority of people in the UK will not be vaccinated until next year.
“Even if that comes through as fast as it possibly could, the vast majority of people will be, we’d expect, to be vaccinating in the new year,” Health Minister Matt Hancock told Sky News.
He said the government was working hard to be able to roll-out the vaccine when it becomes available, adding that across Britain the different administrations hoped to agree a set of rules so that people could meet at Christmas.
“We’re absolutely working to make Christmas as normal as possible,” he said.
Hancock added later in comments to the BBc that Britain expects to start rolling out the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine just before Christmas if it is declared safe and effective.
“We’re working very closely with the company,” he told BBC TV. “We’ll be ready to roll it out as soon as it comes, we’ll be ready from the first of December…, but more likely is that we may be able to start rolling it out before Christmas.”
Asked how many vaccines Britain would need, he said it depended on how effective they were at preventing transmission.