Coronavirus LIVE updates as Boris Johnson’s cabinet to meet to discuss vaccine progress


Boris Johnson’s cabinet is due to meet in person today for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown in mid-March to discuss vaccine progress. It is a vaccine under development at the University of Oxford that has been shown to be safe and induces an immune response, the researchers say, that the scientific community has called “encouraging.”

The results of the Oxford vaccine trial were published in the medical journal The Lancet on Monday afternoon.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, one of the ministers expected to attend the Cabinet meeting, subsequently praised the work of UK health officials, saying they had ‘played a blind role’ and claiming that the virus was “on the go”.

Mr Hancock will likely be asked about vaccines and the latest NHS test results and traces when he appears before the Commons Science and Technology Committee on Tuesday.

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Professor Sarah Gilbert, from the University of Oxford, said the first results “are promising” but more needs to be done before it can be confirmed whether the vaccine will help manage the pandemic.

She said we still don’t know how much of an immune response we need to elicit to protect ourselves from infection. She said if it is effective it can be made on a large scale.

The government is building a portfolio of potential vaccines, as well as effective treatments for the coronavirus.

The latest announcement concerns 30 million doses of a vaccine from BioNTech / Pfizer, 60 million doses of Valneva, with an option to acquire 40 million additional doses if necessary. It follows an agreement for 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine.

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