British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday that a vaccine to tackle COVID-19 was “not there yet” but the government was getting ready to roll out it, with a central expectation for the first half of 2021.
“On my central expectation, I would expect the bulk of the roll out to be in the first half of next year,” he said. Asked if some people could receive a vaccine this year he replied: “I don’t rule that out but that is not my central expectation.”
“We want to be ready in case everything goes perfectly but it’s not my central expectation that we’ll be doing that this year but the programme is progressing well, we’re not there yet.”
Earlier, The Sun newspaper reported on Monday that staff at a major London hospital trust have been told to be ready to receive the first batches of the vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc.
The Sun said the hospital was told to prepare for the vaccine from the “week commencing the 2 November.”