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Covid-19 vaccine – good news

10 Nov 2020

Trials of an experimental Covid-19 vaccine, that’s currently in its final stages of testing, show it’s 90% effective

There’s no doubt this is good progress, although it’s very early days and we still don’t know how and when this will be rolled out.

This 90% effectiveness is far higher than had been thought possible. It means that at least two other vaccines still in trials — including one that drugs company AstraZeneca are working on with Oxford University — could be equally effective.

Pfizer and BioNTech hope to produce up to 50 million doses of their vaccine this year, and up to 1.3 billion in 2021. It’s also hoped that the UK will have early access to 90 million doses.

As for who will get the Covid-19 vaccine — it’s still unclear. But it looks likely to be adults aged over 50, healthcare and social-care workers on the front line, and adults with underlying conditions that put them at increased risk.

AstraZeneca has not yet announced early results on its vaccine, but it’s currently producing its experimental one in Australia.

In the meantime, people at higher risk from winter flu should have a flu vaccine. According to the NHS, these are people who:

  • are aged 65 and over (including those who will be 65 by 31 March 2021)
  • have certain health conditions — talk to a GP if you’re unsure
  • are pregnant
  • are in long-stay residential care
  • receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you become ill
  • are frontline health or social care workers

This is especially important because having flu alongside Covid-19 more than doubles the risk of complications.

The news is music to everyone’s ears, but until a Covid-19 vaccine is widely available, it’s still crucial that we persist with lockdown.

We must still wear face coverings, wash our hands regularly and socially distance properly. If you think you have Covid-19 symptoms, stay at home and get a test as soon as you can.

Last updated:
10 Nov 2020

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