Covid vaccine announcement: What did Matt Hancock say in coronavirus speech today, November 20?

Covid vaccine announcement: What did Matt Hancock say in coronavirus speech today, November 20?

11/20/2020

A VACCINE for coronavirus is the ultimate hope and exit strategy out of lockdown and to return to full normality.

And the Government have claimed in recent days that a mass covid vaccination programme could start in early December, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock providing an update at Downing Street this evening.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

What did Matt Hancock say?

Mr Hancock started his press conference by outlining that the second wave peak is flattening, before revealing that all over-50s will receive a free flu jab this winter.

He also announced that Pfizer and BioNTech have submitted their vaccine to FDA for emergency authorisation in the US.

In the UK, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) are also assessing the data for possible approval.

This vaccination recently recorded that it is 95% effective, with its release to the British public potentially just weeks away.

Mr Hancock also revealed that groups that are at greatest risk will be prioritised first for the vaccine – and it will be free on the NHS.

Although Mr Hancock remained coy on specific timings of the rollout, he revealed that the bulk of vaccines will be sent out in January.

The Health Secretary revealed that the NHS will be on standby to distribute the jab as soon as it is manufactured.

When was Matt Hancock's press conference?

Mr Hancock addressed the nation from Number 10 at 5pm on Friday, November 20.

He was joined by Professor Jonathan Van-Tam and Professor Stephen Powis at Downing Street.

BBC and Sky were among the broadcasters showing the press conference.

When will a Covid-19 vaccine be available in the UK?

Pfizer, Moderna and Britain's own Astrazeneca are all in the race to deliver a Covid-19 vaccine – and they all showing promising results.

More than 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine have already been manufactured, the boss of the pharma giant Albert Bourla said yesterday.

Speaking to Sky News this morning Friday, November 20, 2020) Mr Hancock said: "We hope there is going to be a program of Covid vaccinations.

"We don't know for sure yet, however we have seen increasingly good news on the Covid vaccine front over the last two weeks."

He added that if one of the jabs is certified the mass roll out will likely come in the new year, with a small amount possibly available for Christmas.

Mr Hancock previously said that the vaccine programme will start at the beginning of December – if it gets the green safety light.

It will start with NHS staff, the vulnerable and the elderly, and make its way down through the age groups after that.

The Health Secretary also announced a huge free flu vaccination program for anyone over aged over 50 to start on December 1.

And anyone aged 50 or under could receive the vaccine by January 1, 2021.

He urged people to get vaccinated this winter, saying "if you get both flu and Covid that is really bad news".

How can I watch the speech live?

You can catch press briefings live on The Sun's YouTube channel.

Our live coronavirus blog will also be following the speech in real time from 5pm.

Most news channels and the BBC will also air the announcement live.

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