Covid vaccine is cause for "celebration and optimism', but don't let your guard down

10 November 2020, 11:19

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

After a caller said they had a "visceral and emotional reaction" to the Covid vaccine news, James said it was a cause for "celebration" but not to let our guard down.

This caller told LBC's James O'Brien he had a very "visceral and emotional reaction" when he heard the news of a possible Covid-vaccine.

He said it "brought home what's been happening over the last eight months."

The military and NHS staff are on standby to roll out a Covid-19 vaccine across the UK from the start of December and will work "seven days a week", the Health Secretary has told LBC earlier.

However, James warned that this news did not mean people could start to go out and "breach lockdown regulations" or ignore social distancing rules.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has said its coronavirus vaccine has been found to be more than 90% effective.

The vaccine has been tested on 43,500 people in six countries and no safety concerns have been raised.

James said this was "clearly a moment of almost unbelievable joy for the scientists conducting the research," branding the 90% figure "almost wildest dreams territory."

The caller said there had been a lot of advances in medicine and acknowledged there "has to be some caution."

But he added "if the data supports it" he will be "in the queue."

The UK has secured 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine - the first agreement the firms signed with any government.

People will need two doses, meaning not enough shots have been secured for the entire UK population.

James said that it had been reported today that spreading anti-vaccination myths should be made a criminal offence.

"A balance does need to be struck between enthusiasm between embracing and a degree of healthy scepticism."

But James had a final warning for his listeners.

"This is a cause for celebration and optimism, but it is not in any way an invitation to start stepping down our current levels of alertness."