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‘We're not there yet': British health minister dashes hopes AstraZeneca vaccine could be ready before Christmas

Added 10-26-20 07:37:03am EST - “The British minister of health has rebuffed claims that a UK vaccine could be widely distributed in 2020, adding that his "central expectation" is for roll-out in the first half of 2021.” - Rt.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Rt.com: “‘We’re not there yet’: British health minister dashes hopes AstraZeneca vaccine could be ready before Christmas”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Speaking on Monday, UK Health Minister Matt Hancock told BBC Radio 4 that he did not anticipate a vaccine to be ready by the end of 2020, dispelling hopes that life could return to normal by Christmas. 

We want to be ready in case everything goes perfectly but it’s not my central expectation that we’ll be doing that this year, but the programme is progressing well, we’re not there yet. 

The minister was responding to reports in the Sun that National Health Service (NHS) staff could be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca shot in the coming weeks and that a London NHS trust is preparing to receive stocks of the vaccine from November 2. 

When pushed on whether NHS staff could receive the vaccine this year, he said: “I don’t rule that out but that is not my central expectation.” 

The Mail on Sunday also claimed that the government was readying itself for mass roll-out before Christmas. 

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