A scientific advisor said he was “fairly optimistic” that enough Covid-19 vaccinations would be received by Easter for normalcy to resume, provided authorities don’t “screw up” the distribution of the sting.
Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University, told MPs that Pfizer and BioNTech’s announcement meant there could be two or three vaccines by the New Year.
As a member of the government’s vaccine task force, he said there was a 70-80% chance that the most vulnerable populations could be vaccinated by Easter.
During a commons session on coronavirus, former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt asked, “What is your percentage chances in this situation of coming at Easter and vaccinating the most vulnerable, most vulnerable sections of our population for us to think about after Easter.” can return to normal? “
Professor Bell appeared before the MPs on Tuesday and replied, “I think we have a 70-80% chance of doing this.
“Provided they don’t screw up the vaccine distribution, that’s not my job.
“But provided they don’t screw this up, everything will be fine.”
Initial results from US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its vaccine partner BioNTech suggest that their sting is 90% effective at protecting people from Covid-19.
Prof Bell called the announcement a “massive step forward,” adding, “I think it also signals that many of the other vaccines with the same immunogenicity are likely to be effective as well.
“So I wouldn’t be surprised if we started the new year with two or three vaccines, all of which could be distributed.
“And so I’m pretty optimistic about getting enough vaccinations in the first quarter of next year to make things look a lot more normal by spring than they are now.”
Professor Bell appeared before a joint meeting of the Commons Health and Social Care Committee and Science and Technology Committee and said it was “unlikely” that the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine would be administered by general practitioners.
“If we get two or three vaccines that I suspect we’ll have by New Year, I think they will have different routes of distribution,” he said.
“You give some of them just like you give the flu vaccine.
“The Pfizer vaccine needs a cold chain at minus 80.
“The idea that this will be done by local general practitioners is a little unlikely to me.
“I think they need to have a bespoke solution for the Pfizer vaccine that is totally worth it, but they need to think pretty hard about how they are going to do it.”