The Prime Minister announced on Monday 11th November that a ‘significant hurdle’ had been overcome in the pursuit of an effective coronavirus vaccine. Trials from Pfizer and BioNTech showed that the candidate they have been testing was 90% effective in protecting people from transmission of the virus.
The UK Government has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Since two doses are needed this would be enough for 20 million people (or a about a third of the population).
That puts the UK towards the front of the international queue on a per capita basis. The Government has also ordered 300 million doses from 5 other vaccine candidates as well.
At the next stage the vaccine needs to be analysed by the Medicines regulator to be checked for safety and effectiveness. Only then can it be considered for wider distribution to the public.
Commenting Dr Neil Hudson MP said:
“I was really encouraged to hear the news earlier this week that the Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine has been tested on over 40,000 volunteers and interim results suggest it is proving 90 per cent effective at protecting people against the virus. I firmly believe that a safe and effective vaccine will be part of the solution in our battle to defeat this serious and, sadly for many, life-threatening viral disease.”
“This will come as welcome news to families across the length and breadth of Penrith and The Border who have faced difficult times throughout this last year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my constituents who have diligently abided by the Government’s coronavirus guidelines. While we wait for the vaccine and other tools to defeat the virus, I encourage everyone that we still need to do our bit and stick to the Public Health guidelines and remember: ‘hands, face, space’. I know that many people and businesses have struggled as a result of this unprecedented public health crisis. While this vaccine news is no guarantee and only an early breakthrough, we can hope and pray and be cautiously optimistic that 2021 might bring a return to something resembling normality.”