Covid CAN be managed like the flu: Matt Hancock hopes ‘treatable’ virus will become a disease we can ‘live with’ after all adults are offered a vaccine by September
- Matt Hancock says he expects every adult to be offered vaccine by September
- The Health Secretary has also admitted he expects UK to have to live with Covid
- In an interview, he said new drugs and treatments should arrive this year to help the country ‘live with’ Covid just like it does with flu
Matt Hancock has suggested that the UK will be dealing with coronavirus long term after revealing how he hopes vaccines and other treatments will mean we can ‘live with’ the virus like the flu.
The Health Secretary’s comments suggest that the government does not believe it can eradicate the virus completely, with it instead becoming a regular part of life.
Mr Hancock also revealed that he was confident the UK could offer the vaccine to all adults by September.
It comes as it was revealed that the NHS is on course to reach its target of vaccinating 15million Britons tomorrow.
In a major step forward in the battle against coronavirus, 14,012,224 first doses of the Pfizer and Oxford jabs have been administered.
The total includes more than 500,000 from Thursday, meaning the 15million target should be hit today – 48 hours ahead of schedule.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has revealed the UK will learn to ‘live with’ coronavirus like the flu
Speaking in an interview with the Telegraph, Mr Hancock said new drugs designed to tackle the virus should arrive this year.
This means that, combined with the vaccine rollout, Covid should become a ‘treatable disease’.
On Saturday the government will announce that the world’s most innovative Covid treatments will be fast-tracked through the UK’s clinical trial system.
It would add to the treatments available to NHS patients in months rather than years.
Britain has already approved dexamethasone and tocilizumab to help battle against the virus.
And Mr Hancock added: ‘I hope that Covid-19 will become a treatable disease by the end of the year.
‘If Covid-19 ends up like flu, so we live our normal lives and we mitigate through vaccines and treatments, then we can get on with everything again.
‘I’m confident we can offer the vaccine to all adults by September’
He also shared his optimism about the vaccine rollout helping to beat the virus and raise summer holiday hopes.
However, he declined to reveal or suggest when the lockdown could be lifted, while warning that it might take until 2024 for the nation to recover economically.
The Health Secretary also said he ‘loves’ his job and hopes to retain it if a rumoured Cabinet shuffle goes ahead in the summer.
Covid cases and deaths are continuing to plummet across Britain, official data revealed yesterday as Number 10’s top scientists claimed the R rate has fallen below the crucial level of one for the first time since July and admitted they believe this could be the final lockdown.
Department of Health bosses declared another 15,144 cases, down 21 per cent in a week. It means 4million Britons have tested positive since the pandemic began — but the true toll is millions more.
Another 758 fatalities were also added to the official toll, with the figure having fallen by a quarter on last Friday.