“We do not yet know when any will be ready and licensed, but we have ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine and over 350 million in total, more than enough for everyone in the UK, the Crown dependencies and the overseas territories,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.
Speaking in British Parliament yesterday [Nov 23], Prime Minister Johnson said, “Clearly, the most hopeful advance of all is how vaccines are now edging ever closer to liberating us from the virus, demonstrating emphatically that this is not a pandemic without end. We can take great heart from today’s news, which has the makings of a wonderful British scientific achievement.
“The vaccine developed with astonishing speed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca is now one of three capable of delivering a period of immunity.
“We do not yet know when any will be ready and licensed, but we have ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine and over 350 million in total—more than enough for everyone in the UK, the Crown dependencies and the overseas territories. The NHS is preparing a nationwide immunisation programme, ready next month, the like of which we have never witnessed.”
“2020 has been, in many ways, a tragic year when so many have lost loved ones and faced financial ruin, and this will still be a hard winter. Christmas cannot be normal and there is a long road to spring, but we have turned a corner and the escape route is in sight.
“We must hold out against the virus until testing and vaccines come to our rescue and reduce the need for restrictions. Everyone can help speed up the arrival of that moment by continuing to follow the rules, getting tested and self-isolating when instructed, remembering “hands, face, space”, and pulling together for one final push to the spring, when we have every reason to hope and believe that the achievements of our scientists will finally lift the shadow of this virus,” he added.
The BBC reported, “The coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford is highly effective at stopping people developing Covid-19 symptoms, a large trial shows.
“Interim data suggests 70% protection, but the researchers say the figure may be as high as 90% by tweaking the dose. The results will be seen as a triumph, but come after Pfizer and Moderna vaccines showed 95% protection.
“However, the Oxford jab is far cheaper, and is easier to store and get to every corner of the world than the other two. So the vaccine will play a significant role in tackling the pandemic, if it is approved for use by regulators.”
According to a UK Parliamentary report, the permanently inhabited overseas territories [Anguilla, Bermuda, BVI, the Cayman Islands, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha, and the Turks & Caicos] have a combined population of around 250,000 people.
Yesterday, Minister of Health Kim Wilson urged everyone to continue to follow public health guidelines, saying, “I know that we are all suffering from pandemic fatigue but we must not give up now – with so much at stake.
“We have given up so much for so many months – and we are so close, with a vaccine in sight. We need to hang in there a while longer. The vaccine is not here yet and if we are not careful we could be over-run with Covid-19 before it even gets here.”