A mass roll-out of a COVID-19 vaccine in the United Kingdom could be completed in less than 3 months, with everyone possibly getting a vaccination around Easter period. This is according to a media report which cited some government scientists.
Scientists working on the Oxford vaccine are anticipating that regulators would approve it before the beginning of 2021.
Government sources say the belief is that once the process is underway, it could take 6 months to distribute the vaccine, however, the timeline could be even quicker than that.
A full COVID-19 immunization programme, which would exclude children, could be quicker than experts predicted, and health officials estimate that every adult could receive a dose of the vaccine within 6 months.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Thursday it had started reviewing data on AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s potential COVID-19 vaccine, in real-time, the first of such moves aimed at speeding up any approval process in the region for a vaccine.
The news of the European review also raises chances of the British vaccine, which is seen as leading the race for a successful vaccine against COVID-19, becoming the first to be approved in Europe for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus which has killed over 1 million people globally.
The media report also added that plans under consideration by the government include allowing a much wider group of healthcare staff to administer the vaccine, setting up of drive-through vaccination centres and getting the help of armed forces.
Also, drive-through vaccination centres are being planned to cope with the huge logistical challenge of giving vaccines to tens of millions of people.