The rollout of the earliest shots of Covid vaccine could start this year, though their effectiveness was likely to be limited.

“If the first two vaccines, AstraZeneca and Pfizer, or either of them, show that they are both safe and effective, I think there is a possibility that vaccine rollout will start this side of Christmas,” Kate Bingham said on BBC television.

“… Otherwise I think it’s more realistic to expect it to be early next year.”

Bingham, the chair of the UK Vaccine Taskforce, had written in an opinion piece published overnight that all the candidate vaccines could in theory fail.

“We do not know that we will ever have a vaccine at all”, she wrote in the Lancet medical journal

“The first generation of vaccines is likely to be imperfect, and we should be prepared that they might not prevent infection but rather reduce symptoms and, even then, might not work for everyone or for long.”

She also cautioned that the global manufacturing capacity for vaccines was vastly inadequate for the billions of doses that were needed, and that Britain’s manufacturing capability to date had been “equally scarce”.


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