Millions of Brits could receive ‘game-changing Oxford jab within weeks’

Brits may be able to say goodbye to crushing lockdowns and stay-at-home orders after Ministers pinpointed the 15 million people who would need jabs to end the strict guidelines.

With the 'game-changing' Oxford vaccine expected to be approved as early as next week, the Government hopes enough doses will be available to inoculate those most vulnerable to Covid within weeks.

This means, alongside the Pfizer jab already being deployed, strict coronavirus restrictions may be a thing of the past by the end of February.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak says the Covid breakthroughs, combined with the post-Brexit trade deal with the EU, signalled an optimistic new era for the UK, writes the Mail Online.

Mr Sunak says next year will be the first in a "new era of global Britain".

The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency could authorise the vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca as early as New Year's Eve.

Britain has an advance order for 100 million doses, to join a further 40 million doses of the approved Pfizer jab, which has already been rolled out.

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Government sources claim between 12 and 15 million people have been identified as likely to require hospital treatment if they contract Covid-19, or be at risk of dying from the infection.

Once this group receives the jab, with some officials hoping could be by the end of February, then the NHS would no longer be at risk of being overwhelmed if coronavirus spread through the greater population.

It would also remove the main argument for shutting the hospitality sector as well as shops and non-essential services like hairdressers and barbers.

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A source told the paper: "The path to liberation is finally becoming clear."

The Mail also understands the Government is looking into the possibility of accelerating the programme by giving just a single dose rather than two.

The news comes after a further six million Brits in the east and south-east entered Tier 4 lockdowns with a stay at home order.

Recently, it was announced that a new antibody treatment has the potential to give instant immunity after exposure to Covid-19, and is being trialled by UK scientists.

Football stadiums, conference centres and racecourses are expected to become makeshift vaccination hubs within days of the regulator granting approval.

The Oxford vaccine, developed by world-leading minds in the UK, can also be stored in a standard fridge rather at -70C like the current Pfizer jab.

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