Boris Johnson to announce major new lockdown rules during 7pm press conference

Boris Johnson will hold a press conference on Monday evening after setting out the new tiered coronavirus restrictions for England.

Monday, 23rd November 2020, 1:09 pm

Boris Johnson will hold a press conference on Monday evening after setting out the new tiered coronavirus restrictions for England.

The Prime Minister, who is still self-isolating, will take part remotely, with the event expected around 7pm.

England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and director of the Oxford vaccine group Professor Andrew Pollard will also be at the press conference.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a statement on the defence review via video link from 10 Downing Street.

Mr Johnson is likely to address the new vaccine, found to be up to 90% effective in preventing Covid-19.

AstraZeneca and Oxford University said their jab is effective in stopping most people from contracting coronavirus and falling seriously ill, with some indications that it can also prevent people passing the virus to others.

The jab is likely to be rolled out in the UK from December, with the bulk of vaccination in the new year.

One of the dosing patterns used by the scientists – and tested on about a third of those in the study – suggested 90% effectiveness if one half dose is given followed by a further full dose.

Another dosing pattern showed 62% efficacy when one full dose is given followed by another full dose.

The combined analysis from both dosing regimes resulted in an average efficacy of 70.4%.

Experts behind the study believe that a smaller initial dose may prime the immune system to give a bigger, better response when it meets coronavirus.

The half dose regime is also thought to prevent transmission of the virus and experts hope regulators will approve this plan.

During the overall clinical trial, those given the vaccine did not suffer severe coronavirus and nobody required hospital treatment, while there were also no serious safety concerns related to the vaccine itself.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK will now assess if the 90% effectiveness dosing regime can be used.

He said: “I’m really very pleased, I really welcome these figures – this data that shows that the vaccine in the right dosage can be up to 90% effective.

“If this all goes well in the next couple of weeks, then we are looking at the potential of starting the vaccination programme next month for this Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as well as the Pfizer vaccine.

“But in all cases the bulk of the rollout will be in the new year.

“We are looking with high confidence now that after Easter things can really start to get back to normal.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “Incredibly exciting news the Oxford vaccine has proved so effective in trials.

“There are still further safety checks ahead, but these are fantastic results.”

Professor Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said it was “a very exciting day”.

“These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives.

“We have a vaccine for the world because we’ve got a vaccine which is highly effective – it prevents severe disease and hospitalisation.

“I think this is an incredibly exciting moment for human health.”