Health secretary Matt Hancock told the Downing Street press conference that if the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approves a vaccine the rollout could begin in December. Leaked NHS documents, seen by the Health Service Journal (HSJ), apparently suggest all adults in England – of any age – could start to be vaccinated against Covid-19 before the end of January, if supplies allow.
Under the plan, every adult who wants a jab could be vaccinated by early April, the HSJ said.
It comes following reports that families could be allowed to meet for up to a week over Christmas as part of a UK-wide relaxation of coronavirus rules. Several families could be allowed to join a bubble and to mix between December 22 and 28, the Daily Telegraph reported.
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‘Restrictions to last until end of Winter’, says deputy chief of NHS Providers
The deputy chief executive of NHS Providers has said she expects lockdown restrictions to be in place into the new year to get us through the “hump” of winter.
Saffron Cordery told BBC Breakfast the NHS workforce was now “incredibly tired” as they treat coronavirus patients as well as trying to keep regular services open.
She added that the main priority for hospital chiefs “is to look after their staff so they can look after patients effectively,” adding “they are acutely aware of how tired their staff are”.
“There’s this huge hope (of a vaccine) among staff and among the general public and this sense of ‘oh we can take our foot off the peddle now’,” she said.
“But actually we can’t, we need to hold on just a little while longer until all of the elements are in place.”
Ms Cordery said she expected the restrictions to remain in place into the new year to make sure we are through the “hump of winter-meets-coronavirus”.