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EU claims Covid-19 vaccine could be available in November – after Hancock said it might not be ready until 2021

BRUSSELS has claimed a Coronavirus vaccine could be available as early as November – after Matt Hancock said it might not be until next year.

Senior eurocrat Sandra Gallina said the first doses of a jab being developed by Oxford University may be administered within weeks.

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But the Health Secretary has insisted the same vaccine isn’t likely to be ready “until the first few months” of 2021.

No 10 opted out of the EU’s bulk buying scheme for jabs, arguing it would only hold us back.

But both sides now have their hopes set on the same vaccine, which will be distributed by drugs firm AstraZeneca.

Ms Gallina, head of the EU Commission’s health directorate, said “vial one” of the new jab should be ready “by the end of the year”.

She told the EU Parliament: “At the beginning the number of doses will be limited by definition.

 

“You will have a huge amount of doses at a certain point, possibly around April next year.”

She vowed the bloc will not “cut corners” in the race to secure the first vaccine, adding that would risk undermining public trust.

Brussels has signed a contract with AstraZeneca for 300 million doses, with the option to add 100 million more.

They will be distributed to EU states based on their populations.

Capitals will have the right to sell on any spare jabs to neighbouring countries.

The UK has also signed a contract with the pharma giant and says 30 million doses are already being manufactured – enough for half our population.

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