Clearer picture of which Covid-19 vaccines are 'safe and effective' expected in December

Hopes for a Covid-19 vaccine could be given a boost in December, a public health expert has said.

Which Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective could be known in December
Which Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective could be known in December

There are nine potential vaccines currently in late stage trials, meaning they are being tested on human volunteers to see whether they are both safe and do not cause too severe side effects and whether they are effective in producing immunity for Covid-19.

Professor Linda Bauld, the chair of public health at the Usher Institute at the University of Edinburgh said it is likely the world will be “much clearer” on whether any of the vaccines currently in development will be safe and effective in December.

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Professor Bauld, speaking to the BBC’s Politics Scotland programme, said: “I really think we will see some developments in December.

"We won’t have a rollout, but we will be much clearer on which of the nine late-stage trials now in place have had safe and effective results.

"So watch this space on that and continue to be optimistic.”

The update comes alongside reports that NHS Scotland has begun the process of purchasing the necessary equipment needed to safely store a potential future vaccine.

The Daily Record reported that a leaked email from NHS Lothian director David Small called for meetings with heads of health and social care partnerships and council executives to prepare for a virus.

Mr Small, the director of primary care and lead for vaccinations wrote: “NHS Lothian is planning for the delivery of a vaccine for Covid-19.

"Timescales are uncertain, but we are working to an assumption that a vaccine will be available from mid-December 2020.

“This will be a mass vaccination programme to achieve the most important public health goal in our lifetimes.

“We would like to meet with HSCP and council leads in each area to brief you on the likely shape of the programme, discuss delivery options and agree how we can work together to achieve success.

“Given the tight timescale I hope you will be able to meet us as early as possible.”

The Daily Record also reported that NHS National Services Scotland has signed a deal with an English firm to buy fridges to store the Covid-19 vaccine.

However, the Scottish Government said it was “uncertain” when a vaccine would be available.

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