Here's what Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said as he confirmed the UK will have the Covid vaccine 'within hours'

The deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam has revealed during a question and answer session that the UK will receive the Covid-19 vaccine within “hours, not days”.

Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 11:08 am

Professor Van-Tam took part in a question and answer session on Thursday morning (December 3), during which he outlined clear messaging about the coronavirus vaccine.

The deputy chief medical officer revealed the vaccine will be in the country “within hours”, he discussed the logistical issues surrounding the roll out and even revealed that Father Christmas would be at the front of the queue.

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Professor Jonathan Van-Tam has confirmed that the UK will have the Covid-19 vaccine "within hours, not days". Photo: PA.

Here is what Professor Jonathan Van-Tam had to say:

*The UK will have the vaccine “shortly”

The deputy chief medical officer confirmed that the UK will have the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine “shortly” before adding that he means within “hours, not days”.

Professor Van-Tam said: “We currently expect to receive it very, very shortly in the UK, and I do mean hours, not days.”

*There are logistical problems surrounding the vaccine roll out

The Pfizer vaccine must be held at minus 70C, and, once it comes out to defrost, it has to be stored at 2C to 8C.

Professor Van-Tam said that once it has been defrosted and taken out of the fridge, “there are limits” as to what can be done with it.

The deputy chief medical officer went onto say that he believes the vaccine made by Oxford University would be better suited for care homes – with approval expected before Christmas.

*Life may not return to normal immediately

He commented that the Government need to be “properly confident” that a drop in infection levels comes as a result of it before restrictions can be relaxed.

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Professor Van-Tam said: “It is not something we are going to leave people waiting on for ever but we have got to follow the science, we have got to see the data that gives us the assurance that we can tell people that they can relax in certain ways.”

*Plans for vaccination certificates

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam revealed that it is yet to be decided if people would be issued with vaccination certificates once they have received the jab.

He commented: “I don’t think thinking is fully complete or evolved to a point where I can give you any firm information on that.

“There is an absolute intent to make sure that the IT that supports the vaccination programme makes sure we have a very clear handle on who’s getting it and when they are getting it.”

*Father Christmas is at the front of the queue

Reassuring children, he said: “Oh, absolutely. The JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) made a very special case for Father Christmas and he is going to be absolutely at the top of our list.”

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