The Health Secretary said dosing more with first vaccinations and waiting longer (12 weeks) to deliver the second means the Government can bring forward the day restrictions are lifted. He also told MPs in the Commons this afternoon: “The UK has 530,000 doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine available from Monday.”
Mr Hancock added the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is a “world-first” and was a “huge British success story”.
He said: “The vaccine is the route out of this crisis and the approval this morning of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is another world-first for Britain and it’s the single biggest stride that we’ve been able to take since this pandemic began.”
He added: “Partnered with AstraZeneca we’ve done a brilliant job to develop and manufacture a safe and effective vaccine at speed. I’m sure the whole House will join me in congratulating everyone involved in this huge British success story.”
Mr Hancock said: “We need to vaccinate as quickly as supply allows, following the necessary safety checks of course, and the NHS stand ready to accelerate deployment at scale from Monday, January 4.”
Mr Hancock also said that the Oxford vaccine will give people protection against Covid-19 after the first dose.
He said: “Today’s news means that everyone who wants one can get a vaccine.
“We already have 530,000 doses available to the UK from Monday, with millions due from AstraZeneca by the beginning of February.”
He continued: “The clinical advice is that the Oxford vaccine is best deployed as two doses up to 12 weeks apart.
“And the great news is people get protection after the first dose. This means we can accelerate the speed at which we can vaccinate people for the first 12 weeks before we return to deliver the second doses for that longer-term protection.”
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