Peston: Why Covid vaccine breakthrough is bad news for the market economy

It is worth watching Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England Jonathan Van-Tam explain why the Covid-19 vaccines have come to market in nine months, compared with 10 years for a typical vaccine - because he is in essence indicting capitalism and the market economy.

His entire argument is that commercial pharmaceutical companies always move in baby steps, to minimise the risk of financial loss.

Whereas governments can move much faster to save lives because they have bottomless purses.

In a way he has no other plausible argument, because the only other credible argument is that the vaccines are being rushed through at risk to our lives - and he plainly does not believe that.

So the implications of the putative Covid-19 vaccine breakthrough are massive - and in part because they must surely spark a debate about the appropriate place to draw the boundary between public and private sectors.

As we see the end of the health crisis, the political debate about lessons learned is only just starting -and arguably the losers will be those who for 40 years have been making the case for growing the private sector and shrinking the state.