Watch: David Lammy predicts COVID crisis will be over by next summer
Labour shadow minister predicts normality by summer 2021 following COVID crisis
It comes after vaccine breakthrough earlier this week
David Lammy tells Yahoo UK’s White Wine Question Time podcast: “I was saying to people to write off 2021. A vaccine completely sorts that out”
Labour shadow minister David Lammy has predicted the coronavirus crisis will be over by summer next year.
It follows Monday’s announcement of a vaccine breakthrough by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, with early studies showing its jab is 90% effective in stopping people getting COVID-19.
Shadow justice secretary Lammy, speaking to Yahoo UK’s White Wine Question Time podcast, said he had previously been telling people to “write off 2021”.
His views have now changed following Pfizer’s breakthrough, which has sparked hopes of an end to social distancing and a return to normality.
The Tottenham MP told host Kate Thornton: “I was saying to people: ‘You can write off 2021. We’ll still be living with this, we’ll still be having to go into the lockdown and out again and bouncing around [with] unpredictability.’
“It [the vaccine] completely sorts that out.
“I would predict that assuming they can bring forward the vaccine, that the crisis will be over sometime between Easter and summer next year, which is fantastic.”
There are also high hopes for other vaccines, such as the one being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca. The trial results of this are expected to be released before Christmas.
Listen: Full interview with David Lammy on White Wine Question Time
The government is planning to role out a vaccine as soon as one is formally approved.
The UK already has access to six vaccine candidates, representing 340 million doses: 40 million of which are the Pfizer vaccine.
The UK’s first two COVID cases were confirmed on 31 January. As of Thursday – 10 months later – there had been 1,290,195 lab-confirmed infections and more than 50,000 deaths.
Reflecting on 2020, Lammy said: “This has been a brutal year. I think it’s been a brutal period and very sadly, because of our economy, we have got some more tough times ahead.
“You have got to cherish these moments where your fellow human beings strike out for something different. So big up to those scientists swotting to get a vaccine and cracking it.”
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