Asked about his hopes for a vaccine during an “interactive interview” with anti-FGM activist Nimco Ali, he said it was “the great hope,” according to Boris Johnson, who told The The BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show that the public could expect “bumpy months” to come.
“Plans are underway, a combination of the NHS and the armed forces are involved in the logistics of the [vaccine] the rollout is happening because it’s not just about developing and testing the vaccine, ”he said.
He also revealed that the Covid-19 app, which launched on September 24, more than four months later than originally expected, had been downloaded 15 million times.
The app for England & Wales, which uses the bluetooth signal from mobile phones to track close and sustained contact between users and warns those who may have been exposed to an infectious person that they should auto-self -insulate, was “off the shelves like digital buns,” Hancock said.
In another interview later, he revealed the government’s plans to fight the anti-vaccination movement and persuade people to get vaccinated.
“Unfortunately, there are a small number of people who are actively advocating against vaccines on the basis of misinformation,” he said, adding that the government would introduce a “counter-narrative… to explain the importance and the vaccine safety ”based on previous experience of“ tackling misinformation in other areas ”.
“There is a lot of work going on … to fight against misinformation about the vaccine because after all, if a vaccine is introduced successfully, in order to be able to be used, it will have such a positive impact on everyone’s life”, he told me.
He said the priority recipients of a vaccine would be decided by the independent joint committee on vaccination and immunization, which last week released a prioritization project putting health and social workers first, followed by those over 80.
In his interview with Ali, Hancock said he wanted to see a greater sense of shared responsibility between individuals and the NHS to keep people from getting sick.
“I think that for too long the NHS has [been] pick up the pieces when things go wrong and instead we need more of a sense of shared responsibility – individuals, everyone, responsible for their own health as well as the NHS taking responsibility for keeping people healthy in the first place, ”he said.
In addition to presenting unprecedented challenges, the pandemic had also proven that positive change can happen very quickly, said Hancock, who added that if people should be able to get an in-person appointment with a doctor’s they wished, video views were “more convenient and easier” for many people. About 50% of GP visits and 50% of outpatient visits were done by telemedicine, up from less than 10% before the crisis, he said. “It’s good for the patients, it’s good for the doctors.”