British Health Secretary Matt Hancock called the launch of the AstraZeneca and Oxford vaccine against Covid-19 a “triumph of British science”, saying it would be the only long-term way out of the health crisis.
“Obviously we have very positive news this morning that the Oxford vaccine has started to be given,” Hancock told Sky News this morning. “It is a triumph of British science that we have managed to get where we are.”
“From the beginning we had seen that the vaccine was the only way out in the long run,” he added.
According to the British Minister of Health, the country has already given one million doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, much more than the rest of Europe as a whole.
Hancock also defended the government’s decision to reopen schools in some parts of England, despite an increase in cases, saying it was following public health recommendations and that schools in those areas were safe.
“It is also clear that the percentage of teachers infected with the coronavirus is not higher than that of the rest of the population,” Hancock said.
In another interview with Times Radio, the British Minister of Health noted that the government’s plans to provide vaccines against Covid-19 to the entire population are limited by the ability of manufacturers to provide a sufficient number.
“It can’t be given faster than it is given to us, and that is the challenge we are facing right now,” Hancock explained.
“The South African variant of the coronavirus is more dangerous than the British”
Referring to the new variant of the virus, which causes Covid-19 and was found in South Africa, he said that it is even more dangerous than its highly contagious British variant, adding that it is a “very important problem”.
“I am incredibly concerned about the South African variant and that is why we have taken steps to restrict all flights from South Africa,” he said.
“This is a very, very important problem (…) and it is an even bigger problem than the new variant of the United Kingdom,” he added.
Meanwhile, Robert Peston, editor-in-chief of ITV political reporting, said today, citing an unnamed British government scientific adviser, that scientists were unsure whether the Covid-19 vaccine would be effective against the new variant of cocaine. found in South Africa.
“According to one of the government’s scientific advisers, the reason Matt Hancock is ‘incredibly worried’ about the South African variant of Covid-19 is that they are not so sure that the vaccines will be as effective as they are for the variant that appeared in the United Kingdom, “Peston said.