Dr Hilary Jones has warned Good Morning Britain viewers not to celebrate the breakthrough in the hunt for a coronavirus vaccine prematurely.
The medical expert had a lot to talk about after pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced yesterday they had found a potential vaccine that had proven 90% effective in trials.
The UK has already signed up for 10 million doses of the vaccine, giving more hope that the pandemic crisis could finally be coming to an end.
But setting the record straight, Dr Hilary said that, while it is good news, now is no the time for people to get complacent in lockdown rules.
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He explained: ‘It’s terrific news, it’s absolutely wonderful, it’s the news that everyone’s been waiting for – the best Christmas present that anybody could hope for, really.
‘However, it’s not Armistice Day. It’s not all over. and the worst thing that could happen is people start celebrating prematurely, and carrying on as if we’re not still in the middle of a second wave of a pandemic.
‘That will be a huge mistake and that would result in lots more deaths.’
On explaining the catches that come with this latest medical development, Dr Hilary told viewers: ‘This vaccine, that is 90% effective in a relatively small trial of 44,000 people, seems to be very well tolerated, very minimal side effects, 90% effective. That’s great news.
‘However, it’s very unstable as a vaccine, it has to be stored at -70 to -80 degrees, which has itself created logistical problems in getting it to the places where it will be given out as an immunisation.
‘This is a novel vaccine, and you might have to wait for people to, for say 15 minutes or so, in a surgery to make sure that they’re okay before you let them go.’
He added that as it needed to be taken in two doses, GPs would have to work around the close to immunise their patients over a short space of time.
Hotter countries would also face problems in getting the vaccine to work because of maintaining the sub-zero storage requirements.
Regardless, it’s still hopeful that immunisations will finally start being rolled out by the end of this year.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.
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