Matt Hancock will lead a Covid conference press today.
Matt Hancock will lead Monday’s Downing Street Covid press conference, as fears around the efficacy of Covid vaccines on new variants grow.
Matt Hancock Covid Press Conference
Although it is unknown what content will be covered in the forthcoming briefing, it is likely that the Health Secretary will reassure people about the efficacy of the Covid vaccines.
A study on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine revealed that it was “less effective” against the South African strain, even though it is still thought to significantly reduce severe illness.
The exact time of today’s briefing has not been announced, although they normally take place at 5 pm.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to provide an update on the roadmap to get out of lockdown on February 22. However, earlier today a SAGE expert warned that harsher restrictions may be required. In order to prevent the spread of the more infectious South African variant. Ministers have been swift in reassuring the public over the efficacy of the vaccines in avoiding serious illness and deaths.
On Sunday, Professor Sarah Gilbert, the lead researcher in the Oxford team, said: “Maybe we won’t be reducing the number of cases as much, but we still won’t be seeing the deaths, hospitalizations, and severe disease. That’s really important for healthcare systems. Even if we are having mild and asymptomatic infections, to prevent people going into hospital with Covid would have a major effect.”
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been found to be effective against the South African variant, according to a small study by the University of Texas Medical Branch.