‘I’m not going to rush’ Andrew Neil calls for vaccine to be prioritised for most at risk

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The coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca in the UK has been found to be 70.4 percent effective in preventing people from getting infected. Commenting on the breakthrough, BBC host Andrew Neil told ITV Good Morning Britain he plans to take the antidote but will not “rush” for it as he urged those who are more at risk in society to be prioritised in the NHS rollout. 

Speaking from France, the 71 years old BBC host said: “We’re pretty isolated here and not that vulnerable.

“So I’m going to take the vaccine for sure, but I’m not going to rush.

“There are plenty of people who should be ahead of the queue rather than me and those who need it more should be ahead of me and those like me before we get it.

“Let’s prioritise the health workers, those who are most at risk, those who put their lives at risk every day, the over-80s I think should get it and those with underlying conditions like diabetes or dementia and so on.

“So yes, it would be nice to get the vaccine, it would change everything.

“But I don’t regard myself as a priority.”

AstraZeneca and Oxford University announced their jab is effective in preventing many people getting ill and it has been shown to work in different age groups, including the elderly.

AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot, said: “Today marks an important milestone in our fight against the pandemic. This vaccine’s efficacy and safety confirm that it will be highly effective against COVID-19 and will have an immediate impact on this public health emergency.

“Furthermore, the vaccine’s simple supply chain and our no-profit pledge and commitment to broad, equitable and timely access means it will be affordable and globally available, supplying hundreds of millions of doses on approval.”

Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford, said: “The announcement today takes us another step closer to the time when we can use vaccines to bring an end to the devastation caused by (COVID-19).

“We will continue to work to provide the detailed information to regulators. It has been a privilege to be part of this multi-national effort which will reap benefits for the whole world.”

Oxford University said that interim analysis from its phase three vaccine trial shows that the 70 percent effectiveness comes from combining two doses.

One was 90 percent effective, the other 62 percent.

In a statement, Professor Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial, said:

“These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives. Excitingly, we’ve found that one of our dosing regimens may be around 90 percent effective and if this dosing regime is used, more people could be vaccinated with planned vaccine supply.

“Today’s announcement is only possible thanks to the many volunteers in our trial, and the hard-working and talented team of researchers based around the world.”

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Also speaking on ITV, Dr Hilary Jones said: “We’ve got a realistic data on the efficacy here, 70 percent.

“Interestingly that’s on the par with flu vaccine, about 60 to 70 percent efficacy of flu vaccines.

“So that’s good news, it means we are still going to protect a large number of people in the population.

“It’s a vaccine that doesn’t need to be stored at -70C which creates huge logistical problems, so we might be able to get this out sooner.

“And also, we need to bear in mind that the number of people in the trials have been so small relatively speaking that the efficacy might be revised.”

The UK has placed orders for 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine – enough to vaccinate most of the population – with rollout expected in the coming weeks if the jab is approved.

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