Matt Hancock says 'still hope' of coronavirus vaccine this year – but 'early next year' more likely

MATT Hancock today said he is still hopeful the UK will get a coronavirus vaccine later this year – before adding “early next year” is more likely.

The Health Secretary this morning told the public it is still possible one could be found in the next few months.

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He told BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show: “There is still hope that we will get one of the vaccines over the line this year.

“The Oxford vaccine is still at the front of the queue. More likely is next year, and probably the early part of next year.

“We have got the cavalry coming over the next few months – the vaccine, the mass testing and the improvements in treatments – but we have got to all follow the rules between now and then to keep people safe.”

It comes as Mr Hancock today urged “everybody” to snitch on their neighbours who don’t self-isolate – potentially landing them with a £10,000 fine.

It comes as:

  • PM to unveil £10k fines for Brits who defy orders to stay at home
  • Rishi Sunak plans to freeze benefits to battle covid cost
  • Shops hit by increased demand – fuelling panic buying fears
  • Sadiq Khan warns London needs a new lockdown by MONDAY
  • UK coronavirus cases rise by 4,422 in biggest rise for 19 weeks

He even said he would report people if they were ignoring strict new rules to enforce self-isolation.

Mr Hancock told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme that the “nation faces a tipping point”.

When asked if he would report a neighbour flouting the rules to the authorities, he said: “Yes, and everybody should."

He then told The Andrew Marr Show: "I'm not in this for a popularity contest. I'm in this to keep the country safe."

There is still hope that we will get one of the vaccines over the line this year."

Mr Hancock also said the number of hospital admissions for coronavirus was rising and would be followed by an increase in the number of deaths.

He added: “We have seen in other countries when the case rate shoots up, the next thing that happens is the numbers going into hospital shoot up.

“Sadly, we have seen that rise, it is doubling every eight days or so – people going into hospital – then, with a lag, you see the number of people dying sadly rise.”

He also warned the Government will impose fresh national coronavirus restrictions if the public fails to follow the existing rules.

Mr Hancock said he was “very worried” about the second wave of the virus now emerging in the UK.

He added: “The nation faces a tipping point. We have a choice. Either everybody follows the rules – the rule of six and the need to self-isolate if you have a positive test or if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace – or we will have to take more measures.

“I don’t want to see more measures, more restrictive measures, but if people don’t follow the rules that is how the virus spreads.”

His comments came as the Government announced people in England will face fines of up to £10,000 if they refuse an order to self-isolate.

Mr Hancock said: “We will support people who do the right thing and we will come down hard on people who do the wrong thing.”

“If he doesn’t tackle it now, it will be out of control with devastating repercussions.”


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