UK PM cautiously hails vaccine information

London, November 10

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has cautiously welcomed the promising results from the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and warned people not to rely on this news as a solution as it is still “very, very early days”.

Boris Johnson, UK PM

‘Results need to be peer-reviewed’

We haven’t yet seen the full safety data, and these findings also need to be peer-reviewed.

Addressing a briefing from 10 Downing Street here on Monday, Johnson urged the British public not to “slacken” their resolve as it is still “very, very early days”, even as he confirmed that the UK had pre-ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine – enough for about a third of the UK population, taking into account that two doses each are required.

“The Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine has been tested on over 40,000 volunteers and interim results suggest it is proving 90 per cent effective at protecting people against the virus. But we haven’t yet seen the full safety data, and these findings also need to be peer-reviewed,” said Johnson.

“We have talked for a long time, or I have, about the distant bugle of the scientific cavalry coming over the brow of the hill, and tonight that toot of the bugle is louder. But it is still some way off. And we absolutely cannot rely on this as a solution,” he said.

He reiterated that it is “crucial” not to overdo things and follow the lockdown rules strictly until December 2, after which England is set to revert to a tiered lockdown system. “We cannot let our enthusiasm (about a vaccine) run away with us. It is more vital now than ever that we follow the basics,” said the Prime Minister. — PTI

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