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#AskGMB - Dr Hilary Jones answers your questions about the Covid vaccine and the Christmas lockdown rules

Following the news that the Moderna, Pfizer and Oxford vaccine are all highly effective, Dr Hilary Jones answers your questions about when vaccines will be rolled out and what the Christmas lockdown rules could be.

When will the vaccine be rolled out and who is going to be first to get it?

The good news is that the vaccine is already there. They reckon they could vaccinate 2.7 million people before the end of the year and that would be prioritised to those people who are most vulnerable, people in care homes and people working with the very vulnerable.

But we have got to get approval first. So the trials look as if it is safe but it has to be approved by the regulatory authorities, people like the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), so they’re doing work on all the vaccines that have come their way - the three that have been announced already. There’s a lot of work to be done, it’s got to get approval. We have to make sure it’s safe and that it’s got all the data showing people that it’s safe, that’s the first thing. Once it is, there’s no reason why we can’t have those first doses for those 2.7 million people ready to go before the end of the year.

What about Christmas? Will I be able to see my family?

Three households can mean any number of people and that is a huge worry. The British Medical Association and SAGE are saying the restrictions don’t go far enough. The more people that gather together, the more risk of the virus being transmitted. 

I would say, these are guidelines. However, you can make your own decisions about what you think is safe for your elderly mother or your grandfather. You can make your own decisions based on what we know is safe. The vast majority of people in this country are being responsible and would say, 'I don’t want to expose my elderly relatives to any risk of the virus.' There will always be a small risk, there will always be a balance of risk. 

If you have a small household and you have one grandparent over and they’ve been very careful and you’ve been careful, then I think that’s fine. If you’ve got households of 20 meeting three other households of 20, you’re asking for trouble.

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