A handout photograph released by the UK Parliament shows Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he attends the weekly Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) during a hybrid, socially distanced session at the House of Commons in London on December 2, 2020.(AFP)
A handout photograph released by the UK Parliament shows Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he attends the weekly Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) during a hybrid, socially distanced session at the House of Commons in London on December 2, 2020.(AFP)

Covid-19: Don’t get carried away, it’s not over, warns UK PM Boris Johnson

Johnson hailed the achievement of scientists as the UK regulator approved the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday
By Prasun Sonwalkar | Hindustan Times, London
PUBLISHED ON DEC 03, 2020 07:05 PM IST

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Britons not to get carried away by news of a Covid-19 vaccine being approved by the UK’s regulator, insisting that the “struggle is not over” as England’s month-long lockdown ended with a small drop in new coronavirus cases.

One of the highest daily deaths in recent days was reported on Wednesday evening – 648 – as new cases reflected a slight drop at 16,170, which remained at least thrice that of the peak of April-May. The overall death figure in hospitals and care homes reached 59,699.

Johnson hailed the achievement of scientists as the regulator approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Wednesday, and noted that it was developed from an idea pioneered by the English physician Edward Jenner, whose smallpox vaccine was tested in colonial India.

Johnson said, “(It) is all the more vital that as we celebrate this scientific achievement, we are not carried away with over optimism or fall into the naïve belief that the struggle is over. It’s not. We’ve got to stick to our winter plan, a comprehensive programme to suppress the virus.”

According to him, it is no longer a hope but certainty that normal life would return in the spring.

“(We) are no longer resting on the mere hope that we can return to normal next year in the spring, but rather on the sure and certain knowledge that we will succeed - and together reclaim our lives and all the things about our lives that we love,” he said. “So I want to thank the scientists and all those around the world who have taken part in the trials and got us to this stage.”

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the UK regulator, is currently evaluating data from clinical trials of the University of Oxford-AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccine candidates, with decisions expected in the coming days.

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