Vaccine roll-out could bring 'end game' to Covid-19 by spring, says North Yorkshire health boss
The public health boss for North Yorkshire has expressed hope the vaccine could bring about an "end game" for coronavirus as early as spring
Dr Lincoln Sargeant, the county's director of public health, hailed the vaccine roll-out as a major turning point in the pandemic for which he said the end is now in sight as the first jabs are set to be administered in the county from next week.
He did, however, warn the route back to a normal life will not be a straightforward one with an expected rebound of Covid cases over the festive period and huge logistical challenges to overcome.
"This is a vaccine that is delivered in two doses and it will take time for the immune response to develop," he told a meeting of the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum.
"We are probably not going to see the full effect for possibly up to six months.
"We are talking about spring into summer before we can see the maximal effect and before we can really be in the end game.
"It is important that we maintain the momentum and keep our case numbers going downward into Christmas."
Local health bosses have announced the first vaccines will be given out in Harrogate and across North Yorkshire from next week, with more details on where the jabs will be available to be confirmed in the coming days.
Amanda Bloor, accountable officer of NHS North Yorkshire CCG, said priority will be given to those over the age of 80, care home workers and front-line NHS staff, but warned the public that they would have to be patient.
She said: “This programme will take place over a number of months, not a number of weeks. This is just the beginning of a methodical programme.”
By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter