UK health minister says Oxford-made corona vaccine could be ready by Christmas

A COVID-19 vaccine could be ready for Christmas under the best case scenario, Matt Hancock, the British Minister of Health said on Tuesday.

He also pledged to “throw everything” at vaccine trials, so that a COVID-19 vaccine market can hit the market as soon as possible, and to make it available globally.

“We’re working really hard on this but I can’t promise to play Santa,” Hancock cautioned. “We’ll only recommend a vaccine when we know that it is clinically safe,” he added, according to Euronews.

However, England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and his deputy Jonathan Van-Tam opposed to Hancock’s views, saying that the chances of having a highly effective COVID-19 vaccine before Christmas, are very low.

“The chance of us getting a vaccine before Christmas that actually is highly effective are, in my view, very low,” Whitty told UK’s lawmakers, with Van-Tam saying that the country will have “some vaccine this side of Christmas.”

The same day, Sarah Gilbert, the lead developer of a COVID-19 vaccine by the University of Oxford said that a vaccine could be rolled out by the end of the year, but there is no certainty.

“The end of the year target for getting vaccine roll-out, it’s a possibility but there’s absolutely no certainty about that because we need three things to happen,” Gilbert told BBC Radio.

Earlier in the week, scientists at Oxford University published data revealing that their vaccine candidate produced an immune response in early-stage clinical trials, in “almost everybody.”

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