Boris Johnson admits he is ‘not 100%’ confident Britain will have a coronavirus vaccine by next year

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BORIS Johnson has admitted he is not 100 per cent confident Britain will have a coronavirus vaccine by next year.

The PM said he hopes the weight of scientific effort racing for find a jab will triumph – but that Britain could have to rely on social distancing to drive the deadly virus out of the nation.

Boris Johnson has said he cannot be 100 per cent sure there will be a vaccine by the end of the year

The PM visited schoolchildren in Kent earlier today

Mr Johnson said at a visit to a school in Kent this morning: “I wish I could say I was 100 per cent confident we would get a vaccine by the end of the year.

“I’m hopeful, I’ve got my fingers crossed but to say I’m 100 per cent confident we will get a vaccine this year or indeed next year is alas just an exaggeration.

“If you talk to scientists they thing the sheer weight of international effort is behind us.

“But we’ve got to continue with the current approach maintaining social distancing, we’ve got to do all the sensible things like washing hands and wearing face masks in confined spaces… and we will continue to drive down the virus.

“It may be that the vaccine is going to come riding over the hill like the cavalry but we just can’t count on it right now.”

The UK has secured 90 million doses of a potential vaccine to make sure Brits are first in line if one of the hundreds of projects comes off.

Britain’s leading vaccination project at Oxford University is due to publish some of its early results in The Lancet medical journal today.

However, Chairwoman of the UK Vaccine Taskforce Kate Bingham cast doubt on whether the Oxford vaccine would be ready by the autumn, as previously hoped.

She told BBC Radio 4 she remained “hopeful” but admitted that academics are unlikely to get enough data to prove it works until the end of the year.

The vaccine developed by Oxford University was led by Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the Jenner Institute.

Professor Gilbert has previously said she is “80 per cent confident” the vaccine her team is developing could be ready by September.

Chief Scientific Advisor Patrick Vallance has previously said it is not a sure thing the UK will get a vaccine at all – but that treatments for coronavirus could improve, meaning it would no longer be lethal to those most vulnerable.

 

 

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