Allegra Stratton, No10’s new Press Secretary, has suggested Boris Johnson could decide to be vaccinated for coronavirus live on TV. When asked if it was a possibility, she told reporters: “We all know the character of the prime minister, I don’t think it would be something that he would rule out.
“But what we also know is that he wouldn’t want to take a jab that should be for somebody who is extremely vulnerable, clinically vulnerable, and who should be getting it before him.”
It comes after the UK was the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) granted emergency use approval to the vaccine earlier today.
The company say the jab is 95 percent effective in preventing illness.
Mr Johnson told Parliament it was “fantastic news”, but cautioned that people should not get carried away.
He said: “At this stage it is very, very important that people do not get their hopes up too soon about the speed with which we will be able to roll out this vaccine.”
The Government have secured an initial 800,000 doses of the vaccine and Mr Johnson said they expect to get “several million” before the year is out.
He said: “We will then be rolling it out as fast as we possibly can.”
JUST IN: Brexit Britain just approved ‘a EUROPEAN vaccine’: Germans lash out
Both the United States and the European Union’s regulator are evaluating the same Pfizer vaccine trial data, but have not yet given their approval.
Brussels criticised the UK for signing off on the drug so quickly.
The EU’s drugs regulator said its longer procedure was more appropriate as it was based on more evidence and required more checks.
Pfizer vaccine executive Ralf Rene Reinert said other countries were looking to emulate Britain.
He said: “I wouldn’t make this a race between countries.
“The UK is leading, and now let’s see how the other countries move forward.
“And Pfizer will do everything to exchange all the data packages with every regulatory agency.”
Britain’s medicines regulator approved the vaccine in record time by doing a “rolling” concurrent analysis of data and the manufacturing process while Pfizer raced to conclude trials.
MHRA chief June Raine said “no corners had been cut” when approving the drug.
She told a televised briefing from Downing Street that MHRA had received the first data from the vaccine trials in June, which has undergone a rigorous analysis to international standards.