In Brief

Most Brits would agree to get Covid vaccine - if Boris Johnson goes first

Survey finds that almost half of total 74% who are willing to get the jab want politicians to act as guinea pigs

Three-quarters of Britons would say yes to getting a Covid-19 vaccine - but 40% want politicians to go first to ensure the jab is safe, a new poll reveals.

Amid growing hopes of an imminent rollout of the Pfizer-developed vaccine, just 7% of more than 1,000 people quizzed for the Daily Mail survey said they would not get innoculated against the new coronavirus “under any circumstances”.

Over-65s - the age group most at risk from the virus - were the most enthusiastic about the vaccine, with 86% saying they would get it, compared with 63% among 35- to 44-year-olds.

But despite the generally favourable response, a total of 54% believed that the development of a Covid vaccine has been rushed.

The UK government has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer version, which in Phase 3 tests has been found to be 90% effective in preventing the virus.

The vaccine trials breakthrough was rated by the survey respondents as being “more important” than Brexit, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the first man on the Moon, but that less important than votes for women or the development of vaccines such as tuberculosis jab.

The publication of the poll findings came as Health Secretary Matt Hancock unveiled plans for the NHS to be ready to deploy the vaccine “from any date from 1 December”. 

Hancock told the House of Commons yesterday that “we do not yet know whether or when a vaccine is approved”, but added: “If this or any other vaccine is approved, we will be ready to begin a large-scale vaccination programme.”

According to BBC health editor Michelle Roberts, “if regulators are able to give the green light in the next few weeks, some people could get their jab before Christmas - a most welcome gift for those at highest risk of severe Covid-19 illness”.

But experts have warned that “it would be a colossal mistake to relax now and let the virus rip”, Roberts writes, adding that “until and unless mass vaccination can happen, society needs to use the other weapons at its disposal to fight the virus and stop the spread”.

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