A Covid-19 vaccine 'should be available just after Christmas' in the UK - here's what we know

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by James Trimble

A new vaccine which has successfully cut down on coronavirus infections during trials will be rolled out by the NHS.

According to deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam, the vaccine, created at Oxford University and manufactured by AstraZeneca, should be available just after Christmas, reports the Sunday Times.

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Mr Van-Tam told MPs last week stage that three trials of the vaccine mean a mass rollout is on the horizon, and thousands of NHS staff are to undergo training to administer the vaccine before the end of the year.

The government has changed the law this weekend to expand the number of health professionals able to inoculate the public. The regulations will enable pharmacists, dentists, midwives and paramedics to administer jabs.

Vaccine could be deployed soon after Christmas

Mr Van-Tam said, “We aren't light years away from it. It isn't a totally unrealistic suggestion we could deploy a vaccine soon after Christmas. That would have a significant impact on hospital admissions and deaths.

Vaccines are being developed at a speed that, if successful, will save lives.”

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The first vaccines will be given to the elderly and vulnerable and to vaccinate those most at risk will take several months. Most people will not be given the jab.

A health department official confirmed a “robust and comprehensive training programme” was being developed by the NHS to train more people to administer injections .

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said, “These legal changes will help us into make sure we are ready to rollout a safe and effective Covid- 19 vaccine as soon as it has passed clinical trials and undergone rigorous checks by the regulator.”

A version of this article originally appeared on Edinburgh Evening News