Covid-19 vaccine quite a while away, Welsh First Minister says

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford - (Copyright PA Archive)
18:09pm, Tue 06 Oct 2020
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A vaccine which would bring the coronavirus pandemic to an end is “quite a way away”, the First Minister of Wales has said.

Mark Drakeford said the public would have to learn to live with the virus and accept a re-escalation of restrictions for “quite a while yet”, while suggesting the first immunisations could only protect a person for a matter of weeks.

The First Minister made his comments during a Welsh Government online question and answer session with members of the public on Tuesday.

Mr Drakeford said: “I wouldn’t get carried away, myself, by some of the things you sometimes hear ministers at the UK Government level saying, or some of the more typical reports you hear in newspapers, suggesting there is some miracle around the corner that is going to get us all out of this in short order.

The sort of vaccine that really will put an end to coronavirus is quite a way away, I think

“There is an enormous amount of work going on to create a vaccine. But I don’t think the first vaccines we will see will be the sort of vaccine we are used to.”

He added: “The early vaccines will be vaccines that will give you some protection for a relatively short period of time. Months, sometimes maybe weeks, and then you’ll have to have it again.

“The sort of vaccine that really will put an end to coronavirus is quite a way away, I think. So we’ve got to learn to live with it.”

Mr Drakeford said it was “more likely to be the pattern for a while yet” that measures would have to be repeatedly reintroduced across the UK for months ahead in order to stay on top of transmission rates.

“Vaccines will come, and they will begin to make a difference, but it’s not going to be a miracle,” he added.

“And it’s not going to be a get-out-of-jail-free card, as I sometimes think other people like to imply.”

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