Coronavirus vaccine ‘not likely’ before Christmas

Asked about work on the Oxford vaccine he said: “The best-case scenario is that happens this year. I think more likely is the early part of next year – in the first few months of next year is the most likely.”

The Oxford vaccine, which will be produced by the UK pharmaceutical giant AstraZenica, is now in large phase three trials with around 50,000 volunteers in multiple countries.

Mr Hancock added: “We have got 30 million doses already contracted with AstraZeneca, in fact they are starting to manufacture those doses already, ahead of approval.

“Should that approval come through – and it’s still not certain – then we are ready to roll out.”

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