PM: We cannot rely on Pfizer coronavirus vaccine news

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oris Johnson has warned that the UK “absolutely cannot rely” on news about the Pfizer vaccine in the fight against Covid-19, saying: “The biggest mistake we could make…is to soften our resolve.” A major breakthrough was announced on Monday in the search for a vaccine, with the jab from Pfizer found to be more than 90 per cent effective.  The pharmaceutical giant and its partner BioNTech said interim results showed their jab could prevent people catching Covid-19.

The FTSE 100 jumped more than 5.5 per cent on the news, adding GBP82 billion to the value of its shares in the market’s best day since March.  At a Downing Street press conference, Boris Johnson said Britain was “towards the front of the international pack” for use of the vaccine, but stressed the need for caution.

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United States hits 10million cases of Covid-19

The United States recorded its 10 millionth case of the coronavirus, according to a count by Johns Hopkins University, the same day that Pfizer and BioNTech announced their vaccine. Just now the tracker by the Baltimore-based university showed 10,018,278 cases recorded in the United States since the pandemic began, and 237,742 deaths.

Both are the highest tolls in absolute terms in the world.

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Northern Ireland ministers yet to make decision on easing coronavirus restrictions

Stormont ministers have ended discussions on whether to ease COVID-19 restrictions in Northern Ireland without making any final decisions. Ministers will reconvene on Tuesday morning to continue discussions ahead of Thursday’s scheduled end of a four-week circuit-break lockdown.

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Kate Bingham ‘expected to quit over dodgy cronyism claims’ – according to reports.

UK Vaccines Taskforce Chair Kate Bingham is to step down from her post at the end of the year, it has been reported tonight. The Guardian and the Financial Times are reporting the head of Boris Johnson’s vaccine taskforce will step down amid criticism that she spent GBP670,000 of taxpayer’s money with a PR firm.

Tonight the FT reports Government officials said of Bingham: “She’s off at the end of the year.”

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Donald Trump Jr questions timing of Pfizer vaccine announcement

Pfizer revealed earlier today that its vaccine was 90 percent effective among study participants and that it would produce 1.3billion doses – enough to treat 650million people – by the end of the next year. Not soon enough for the Trumps it seems.

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Boris Johnson says UK ready for the Covid-19 Vaccine

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Confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the US, France, UK and Germany

( Covid-19 comparison graph / Press Association Images )1604952215

Another Trump advisor tests positive for Covid-19, according to Bloomberg

Reports are emerging that David Bossie who has been leading Trump’s post-election legal challenge to the election result since Chief of Staff Mark Meadows fell ill with the coronavirus – now has the virus.

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“Holiday’s aren’t coming” Coca-Cola’s Christmas truck will not visit the UK

Coca-Cola announced that it will not be travelling across the country this year due to the current coronavirus restrictions. A spokeswoman for the company said: “In light of further Covid-19 restrictions announced around the country and in line with Government guidelines, unfortunately, we can’t go ahead with our annual Coca-Cola Christmas Truck Tour this year.”

“We know this will be disappointing for many people, but our priority is the safety of our consumers and employees.”

PM: We cannot rely on Pfizer coronavirus vaccine news( Holidays aren’t coming this year / PA )1604950948

600,000 tests to be rolled out to local public health leaders

More than half a million rapid coronavirus tests will be sent out to local public health leaders this week to help detect asymptomatic cases, the government has announced. Some 600,000 lateral flow test kits, which can deliver results within an hour, will be issued to more than 50 directors of public health across England in the coming days. The initial batch will be followed up with a weekly allocation of the tests, equivalent to 10 per cent of the population.

Local health leaders will be able to determine the allocation of the tests based on the needs of their communities, and it is hoped that the rollout will enable priority and high-risk groups to be tested on a weekly basis. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Last week we rolled out mass testing in Liverpool using new, rapid technology so we can detect this virus quicker than ever before, even in people who don’t have symptoms. “Mass testing is a vital tool to help us control this virus and get life more normal.

“I am delighted to say 10,000 of these tests will now be sent out by NHS Test and Trace to over 50 directors of public health as part of our asymptomatic testing strategy. “I want to thank all directors of public health for their support and efforts over the past months to help us tackle this virus, bring it under control and get the country back to what we love doing.” Interim executive chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, Baroness Dido Harding, added: “I am delighted that as part of our expansion of testing we are able to partner with local authorities to deliver these new rapid turnaround tests to our local communities.

“Building on national capacity of 500,000 tests a day we are now moving to the next stage of testing tailored around the individual needs of local areas with control in the hands of local directors of public health. “There has been a huge amount of work to develop these new testing capabilities and I want to thank colleagues across NHS Test and Trace, Public Health England and the wider scientific community for ensuring that we are one of the first countries in the world who are able to deploy these new tests for the benefit of our public.”

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Dr Charlie Weller, head of the vaccines programme at the Wellcome Trust, said a vaccine is not a silver bullet, and is only one tool in tackling coronavirus.

Dr Charlie Weller told the PA news agency the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was “absolutely” the fastest ever to have been developed. She said: “There is so much excitement about the RNA vaccine.

“This was a technology that hadn’t been proved or validated, so this is a validation of a potentially new technology, and the speed at which this has been developed is phenomenal.”

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