LiveCoronavirus in Scotland RECAP: FTSE 100 rockets as Pfizer confirms its vaccine works and Downing Street could have 10m doses by end of 2020

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Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE picture: JPI Media
Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE picture: JPI Media

Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: FTSE 100 rockets as Pfizer confirms its vaccine works and Downing Street could have 10m doses by end of 2020

Last updated: Monday, 09 November, 2020, 20:58

  • Covid 19 vaccine 90 per cent more effective in preventing disease in preliminary results according to drug firm Pfizer
  • Travel ban between Denmark and UK due to mink Covid-19 strain
  • FTSE sky rockets as Downing Street confirms it could have 10m doses of new vaccine by end of this year

Vaccine misinformation is ‘exactly that’ says Professor Jonathan Van-Tam

England's deputy chief medical officer has said he will not be giving any "further airtime" to false information around vaccines.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam told a Downing Street coronavirus briefing that vaccine misinformation was "exactly that", adding he still expected strong demand for a Covid-19 jab.

His comments on Monday came as GCHQ reportedly launched a cyber operation to disrupt disinformation around vaccines being spread by hostile states.

Meanwhile, one of the UK's leading fact checking organisations, Full Fact, said it was preparing for anti-vaccination posts to be "ramped up" online following news of a major vaccine breakthrough.

Interim results from a jab developed by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech were found to be more than 90% effective, the pharmaceutical firm announced on Monday.

Answering a question about misinformation spread by anti-vaccine groups, Prof Van-Tam said: "Vaccine misinformation has been out there ever since the first vaccines were made and it is exactly that, misinformation, and I don't propose to give it any further airtime."

He added: "If you look at the staggering likelihood of hospitalisation or death with increasing age and in the elderly, I predict very strongly that there will be a very significant demand in the elderly, in particular, for this vaccine and ones that follow."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the anti-vax argument "holds no water".

Private firms should not be involved in delivering any coronavirus vaccine, a union has said.

Unison has called for the vaccination programme to be run by the NHS and public health bodies.

It comes after pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced it had made a coronavirus vaccine breakthrough on Monday.

Unison assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said: "Although it's still early days, this could be the news the world's been waiting for.

"But, after the test and trace fiasco, there must be proper transparency and scrutiny this time around.

"The Government should use the next few days and weeks well to ensure that, when the vaccine's ready, its rollout is managed entirely by the NHS and public health bodies.

"Private firms mustn't be allowed anywhere near the programme to give the vaccine to the over 80s, health and care staff, and then the wider population.

"The vaccine must be delivered by healthcare professionals.

"The thousands of ex-health workers who offered their services to the NHS as the first wave hit would be perfect to do this.

"Encouraging, rather than forcing, care and NHS staff to have the vaccine so they can be effective advocates for wider take-up among their colleagues, family members and friends will be important too."

Boris Johnson has urged the public to stick to Covid-19 rules despite pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announcing it has made a coronavirus vaccine breakthrough.

The Prime Minister said the Pfizer vaccine news was a sign the "scientific cavalry" was on its way, but stressed it was "very, very early days".

He told a Downing Street press conference that the vaccine had cleared a "significant hurdle" but there were more to cross before it could be used.

He said: "The Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine has been tested on over 40,000 volunteers and interim results suggest it is proving 90% effective at protecting people against the virus.

"But we haven't yet seen the full safety data, and these findings also need to be peer-reviewed.

"So we have cleared one significant hurdle but there are several more to go before we know the vaccine can be used."

The UK Government has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine - enough for about a third of the UK population.

‘Wear a mask’ urges Biden as US passes 10M confirmed coronavirus cases

US president-elect Joe Biden has implored Americans to "wear a mask" to help fight the spread of coronavirus as the country passed 10 million confirmed cases.

The country hit the milestone on Monday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, as infections continue to rise in nearly every state.

Mr Biden said in a speech on Monday that wearing masks could slow the death toll in the pandemic, which he noted could climb by 200,000 more before a vaccine is widely available.

He said: "We are Americans, and our country is under threat.

"Please, I implore you, wear a mask."

He noted masks could save the lives of older people, children and teachers, and added: "It could even save your own life."

Mr Biden noted that he does not take office until January but he is assuming a public leadership role in the fight against the pandemic ahead of being sworn in.

New daily confirmed cases of coronavirus are up more than 60% over the past two weeks, to an average of nearly 109,000, and average daily cases are on the rise in 48 states.

The US accounts for about a fifth of the world's 50 million confirmed cases.

The nation's coronavirus deaths are up 18% over the past two weeks, averaging 939 each day. The virus has killed more than 237,000 Americans.

World Covid cases hit 50 million mark

The coronavirus has hit another sobering milestone, with more than 50 million positive cases worldwide since the pandemic began.

Johns Hopkins University's coronavirus tracker reported more than 50.2 million Covid-19 cases globally as of Sunday.

More than 1.2 million people have died from the disease worldwide.

The US, with around 4% of the world's population, represents almost a fifth of all reported cases.

The country has had more than 9.8 million cases and more than 237,000 deaths from the virus since the pandemic started, according to Johns Hopkins data.

Coronavirus cases and deaths also continue to soar in the US, as they are in many countries.

The US reported more than 126,000 positive cases and more than 1,000 deaths from Covid-19 on Saturday, according to the university.

It marked the fourth day in a row that new cases topped more than 100,000, as the country continued to break its own record for daily cases on nearly every day last week.

Amid the nationwide spikes, even the sparsely-populated state of Alaska on Saturday reported hitting a daily record in new coronavirus cases.

The state recorded 604 cases, the highest in a single day since October 25, when 526 cases were tallied, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

The Department of Health and Social Services said there were no new deaths from the virus. The state has had 19,306 cases and 79 deaths since the coronavirus hit.

What does the Pfizer vaccine announcement mean for me?

The pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, working with German biotech company BioNTech, has released interim analysis suggesting their vaccine is more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19.

- Is this big news?

Yes. These are interim findings and studies will continue but analysis shows that the Pfizer vaccine can prevent more than 90% of people from getting Covid-19.

The vaccine has been tested on 43,500 people in six countries and no safety concerns have been raised.

Pfizer plans to apply to the US regulator the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency approval to use the vaccine by the end of the month.

The analysis was carried out after 94 confirmed cases of Covid-19 were found among those taking part in the trial.

- What type of vaccine is this?

The jab is known as a messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine.

Conventional vaccines are produced using weakened forms of the virus, but mRNAs use only the virus's genetic code.

An mRNA vaccine is injected into the body where it enters cells and tells them to create antigens.

These antigens are recognised by the immune system and prepare it to fight coronavirus.

- What are the advantages of this type of vaccine?

No actual virus is needed to create an mRNA vaccine. This means the rate at which the vaccine can be produced is dramatically accelerated.

As a result, mRNA vaccines have been hailed as potentially offering a rapid solution to new outbreaks of infectious diseases.

In theory, they can also be modified reasonably quickly if, for example, a virus develops mutations and begins to change.

mRNA vaccines are also cheaper to produce than traditional vaccines. But both will play an important role in tackling Covid-19.

‘A great day for science and humanity'

A Covid vaccine has been shown to be 90 per cent effective, according to Pfizer who have been trialling it. 

⁠Pfizer said that the findings of its long-awaited phase 3 trials were “a great day for science and humanity.”

⁠⁠The UK had already ordered enough of the vaccine to provide doses for 20 million people, with enough for five million by the end of the year. In expectation of this vaccine offering results, the NHS had been warned to prepare for mass vaccination from the beginning of December.⁠

Scotland’s restrictions ‘unlikely’ to be eased, following Ms Sturgeon’s announcements during her daily briefing this afternoon.

Local authorities in Scotland have been put under different levels of restrictions depending on cases and the rate of infection in each area. 

For some areas this has meant tight restrictions on business and living situations. 

Here is a reminder on what levels each council area is under and what rules come under each level: 

UK Government adviser Sir John Bell tell BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme that life will start returning to normal early next year when new vaccine is distributed.

FM closes her daily briefing confirming she will be addressing Parliament tomorrow (Tuesday) at about 2.20pm. The time is yet to be confirmed.

During tomorrow’s announcement the First Minister will be reviewing the different levels placed across Scotland under each local authority. 

Ms Sturgeon said she does not anticipate any easing of restrictions at this time, nor a nation-wide level 4 restriction, but she cannot rule this out. 

Downing Street welcomed the results from Pfizer’s vaccine tests as “promising” and said the UK will have procured 10 million doses by the end of the year to be given out if it is approved.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The results are promising and while we are optimistic of a breakthrough, we must remember there are no guarantees.

“We will know whether the vaccine is both safe and effective once the safety data has been published and only then can licensing authorities consider making it available to the public.

“In the meantime, the NHS stands ready to begin a vaccination programme for those most at risk once a Covid-19 vaccine is available before being rolled out more widely.

“In total, we’ve procured 40 million doses of the Pfizer candidate vaccine, with 10 million of those doses being manufactured and available to the UK by the end of the year if the vaccine is approved by the regulators.”

Read more about the vaccine here.

The vaccine is found to be 90 per cent more effective in preventing disease in preliminary results according to Pfizer.

For those of you who have just tuned in, Nicola Sturgeon announced tighter restrictions between Denmark and Scotland given new mink strain

Weekly update: these are the 12 areas in Scotland that recorded the highest coronavirus rates in the last week

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