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Good morning. It’s already looking like a busy day – we’re getting reaction to news that almost 16,000 positive test results were not disclosed to test and trace, or published in the figures, Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, is delivering his speech later to the online Tory conference and Cineworld is closing all its UK cinemas – but it is also worth flagging up a revealing interview in the Financial Times. Many people have been hoping that when a vaccine becomes available, that will be the wonder development that allows life to return to normal.
But the FT has been speaking to Kate Bingham, head of the government’s UK vaccine taskforce, and she said that if or when a vaccine does become available, less than half the population is likely to get it. In their story (paywall) Anna Gross and Jasmine Cameron-Chileshe report:
Kate Bingham told the Financial Times that vaccinating everyone in the country was “not going to happen”, adding: “We just need to vaccinate everyone at risk” …
Ms Bingham said the government was aiming to vaccinate about 30m people, compared with a UK population of about 67m, if a successful vaccine against Covid-19 was found.
“People keep talking about ‘time to vaccinate the whole population’, but that is misguided,” she said.
“There’s going to be no vaccination of people under 18. It’s an adult-only vaccine, for people over 50, focusing on health workers and carehome workers and the vulnerable” …
Ms Bingham said vaccination policy would be aimed at those “most at risk” and noted that vaccinating healthy people, who are much less likely to have severe outcomes from Covid-19, “could cause them some freak harm”, potentially tipping the scales in terms of the risk-benefit analysis.
Bingham also told the FT that, if a vaccine turned out to be 95% effective, then it could be used more widely. But that would be a decision for later, she said.
Here is the agenda for the day.
11.50am: Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, delivers his speech to the Conservative party’s online conference. Other speakers today include Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, at 11am; Robert Jenrick, the communities secretary, at 1.30pm; George Eustice, the environment secretary, at 2pm; Alok Sharma, the business secretary, at 2.30pm: and Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, at 3.30pm.
12pm: Downing Street lobby briefing.
12.15pm: Vaughan Gething, the Welsh government’s health minister, holds a coronavirus briefing.
12.30pm: The Scottish government is due to hold its daily coronavirus briefing.
2.30pm: Penny Mordaunt, a Cabinet Office minister, gives evidence to the Commons European scrutiny committee about the implementation of the Brexit Northern Ireland protocol.
3.30pm: Matt Hancock, the health secretary is due to give a Commons statement on the 16,000 positive coronavirus test results not disclosed to NHS Test and Trace.
Politics Live has been doubling up as the UK coronavirus live blog for some time and, given the way the Covid crisis eclipses everything, this will continue for the foreseeable future. But we will be covering non-Covid political stories too, and where they seem more important and interesting, they will take precedence.
Here is our global coronavirus live blog.
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Source: The Guardian
Keyword: UK coronavirus live: only half of population likely to get vaccine, says taskforce head | Politics