THE Oxford vaccine is set to be given the green light within days, sources say.
The jab is expected to be authorised by the MHRA around December 28, with huge venues like football stadiums openend up next month to get the vaccine rolled out on a scale never before seen in the UK.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updatesThe Oxford vaccine is expected to be approved within daysCredit: Getty - Pool
The Telegraph revealed the plans, as per "senior Whitehall sources," who told the publication the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) looks set to okay the jab just days after Christmas.
It comes after vaccines minister Nadhim Zahwai said there had been a “really good” start to the NHS vaccination programme, with 180,000 of the 25 million people vaccinated so far.
Health chiefs are now working flatout to accelerate the rollout with the aim of protecting all vulnerable Britons by the end of spring.
Boris Johnson hopes it will ease pressure on the NHS and allow him to relax restrictions in a major boost to the economy, and the UK's general mood.
British regulators were the first in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech shot, with the US and Canada following.
Gran Maggie Keenan, 90, from Coventry, was the first to have it last Tuesday.
It will soon be available from hundreds of hospitals, GP surgeries and vaccination centres, such as sport stadiums.
Speaking at a Downing Street briefing, Mr Jonhson said officials are trying to “massively accelerate” the rollout of the vaccine.
And if the Oxford vaccine is approved, it will be yet another feather in the cap for UK health chiefs who have worked tirelessly to push through trials and research to ensure the jabs are safe.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he hopes several million can be vaccinated by Christmas with the rest early next year.
It comes as the UK teeters on the edge of another lockdown after two-thirds of the country was plunged into Tier 3 yesterday.
Northern Ireland is already locked into six weeks of draconian measures, with Wales to follow shortly.
And Boris Johnson has refused to rule out a 2021 lockdown, after experts warned Christmas will cause a huge Covid spike.Scientists at Oxford's lab have been working around the clock to develop a Covid vaccineCredit: Dan Charity - The Sun
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