Eamonn OKane: Former champion boxer helps deliver his daughter

Champion boxers are used to the big events, but delivering a baby was one former fighter’s toughest bout yet.

The arrival of Hollie Grace O’Kane, weighing in at nine pounds four and half ounces, almost left retired boxer Eamonn O’Kane on the canvas.

Eamonn and wife Nicola were waiting on ambulance crews last Friday after she went into labour.

But the former middle weight champion had to step into the maternity ring to help deliver the new bundle of joy.

In his boxing days, the former middleweight champion was known as Eamonn “King” O’Kane, but to his wife Nicola he is now Eamonn “The Midwife” O’Kane.

“I was very nervous, and that is putting it lightly,” the Commonwealth gold winning athlete told BBC News NI.

Nicola had just been to a routine hospital appointment, but had started to feel “short, sore niggles” when arriving back to the house in Feeney, County Londonderry.

Initially the couple thought this was just a reaction to treatment, but it soon transpired that she was going into labour.

The call went out for a community midwife, but about nine minutes after the call was made “the niggles” got a lot stronger and they were instructed to get to Altnagelvin Hospital.

“We tried to get Nicola out into the car, but she couldn’t get in.

“I then called 999 and Joanne, who was on the phone, was absolutely brilliant.

“I was told to get towels, get Nicola comfortable and she [Joanne the emergency call handler] was keeping me informed about where the ambulance was.

“It was nerve-wracking. I am a typical man and I don’t know anything about what happens,” Eamonn said.

However, as the couple waited for the ambulance Eamonn and Nicola were dealt a sucker punch when they saw the ambulance going past their house and down the wrong lane.

“The sat-nav doesn’t take you to my house and I was left trying to describe down the phone where we were so that Joanne could tell the ambulance where to go.

“By the time they got up to us the baby was just coming out.

“It was a crazy, surreal experience and I am glad to say I delivered my daughter.”

“He was cool and calm and just did everything they said on the phone,” Nicola said.

“By the time they [the ambulance crews] got here, round the back door and up the stairs the baby’s head was out and they took over the responsibility, but they still gave him a good role.”

“He was very heroic and I am so proud of him,” the now mother of four added.

The family praised the work of Joanne and the ambulance crew and said her brothers are absolutely delighted they have a baby sister just in time for Santa’s arrival.

Covid: Dont hug elderly relatives at Christmas warns Chris Whitty

Families have been warned against hugging and kissing elderly relatives at Christmas “if you want them to survive to be hugged again”.

People “just have to have sense”, said the UK government’s chief medical adviser, Prof Chris Whitty.

Coronavirus rules announced this week mean three households can form a bubble and mix for five days over Christmas.

From 23 to 27 December, three households in can mix indoors in homes, at a place of worship or outdoors.

The rules apply to the whole of the UK, although in Scotland the number of people who can be in the Christmas bubble is limited to eight.

And in Northern Ireland, the rules are relaxed from 22 to 28 December, to allow time to travel between the nations.

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference on Thursday, Prof Whitty – who revealed he would be “on the wards” over Christmas – said: “Would I want someone to see their family? Of course, that’s what Christmas is about.

“But would I encourage someone to hug and kiss their elderly relatives? No, I would not.

“It’s not against the law – and that’s the whole point. You can do it within the rules that are there, but it does not make sense because you could be carrying the virus and if you’ve got an elderly relative, that would not be the thing you’d want to do in the period where we are running up to a point where we actually might be able to protect older people.

“So I think people just have to have sense. The fact that you can do something – this is true across so many other areas of life – doesn’t mean you should.”

Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, added: “It’s not going to be a normal Christmas but if you want to make those connections with family, it has to be done in a way where you try and make sure that you don’t increase the risk.

“I think hugging elderly relatives is not something to go out and do. It will increase the spread to a vulnerable population.”

Prof Whitty added: “If you want them to survive to be hugged again.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also responded to the question about hugging elderly relatives, urging people to be “common sensical”.

“Until the vaccine comes on stream, we are not out of the woods yet and we have to be very, very vigilant.”

Prof Whitty also said it was “not a secret” that Christmas would increase the risk of transmission.

“Take it really seriously during Christmas. Don’t do stupid things. Don’t do unnecessary things just because the rules say you can. Think sensibly.”

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has that said the “default advice” and “safest position” was still that people should avoid contact.

“Just because we are allowing people to meet up in a limited way does not of course mean people have to do so, and people should not feel under pressure to do so,” she said.

The government’s official guidance on Christmas bubbles advises people with loved-ones who are vulnerable advises to take personal responsibility to limit the spread of the virus.

The NHS considers anyone 70 and over as “clinically vulnerable” and at moderate risk from coronavirus.

The government guidance also has specific advice for people considered extremely vulnerable, as well as care home residents.

It suggests forming a Christmas bubble is “a personal choice” for extremely vulnerable people, while those in care homes should only visit families if they are of working age.

Under the government’s rules, the three households must be fixed, so you will not be able to mix with two households on Christmas Day and two different ones on Boxing Day. Households in your Christmas bubble can’t bubble with anyone else.

Scotland has announced that the bubbles of three households should contain no more than eight people – but children under 12 are exempt.

People who are self-isolating should not join a Christmas bubble. If someone tests positive, or develops coronavirus symptoms up to 48 hours after the Christmas bubble last met, everyone will have to self-isolate.

Brexit: EU plays down Michel Barnier talks with blocs fishing ministers

The EU has played down the importance of a meeting between EU fishing ministers and the bloc’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier on Friday.

It comes amid uncertainty over whether trade talks between the EU and the UK will be held in person this week.

Fishing has been a key sticking point in negotiations to reach a post-Brexit trade deal.

Mr Barnier had reportedly been due to come to London to resume face-to-face trade talks on Friday.

But, asked if they were expecting him, a Downing Street spokesperson said “that’s a matter for the EU and a decision for them”.

Both sides are hoping to reach a trade deal before the 31 December deadline.

If nothing is agreed by then, trading between the two will default to World Trade Organization (WTO) rules meaning tariffs will be introduced, and costs on products could rise.

So far, the major areas of disagreement have been competition rules – where governments give state aid support to businesses – and fishing rights.

Analysis by Nick Beake, BBC Brussels Correspondent

“The clock is ticking” quickly became one of the EU’s most popular maxims in its Brexit phrasebook.

It was first directed at Theresa May’s government in an attempt to spur them into action.

But now, with less than six weeks left for a trade deal to be agreed and ratified, the EU seems rather more sanguine about the passing of time.

It is determined not to be seen as rushing back to the negotiating table in London, once its negotiators emerge from their pre-cautionary self-isolation.

In fact, it was reported this week (and not denied) that Mr Barnier had told his opposite number that if the British weren’t prepared to budge, there was no point in him getting back on the Eurostar.

Few here in Brussels believe the EU would actually walk away at this stage, though. So for now, both sides try to keep their poker face as the deadline for a deal gets perilously near.

Mr Barnier is due to hold a video call with EU fishing ministers on Friday – but EU sources denied a suggestion the meeting was “urgent”.

They claimed it was the latest, regular update to ministers from the member states who are responsible for fishing.

Face-to-face talks between Mr Barnier and the UK’s negotiator Lord Frost were paused last week when a member of the EU’s team tested positive for coronavirus.

The negotiations had reportedly been due to resume on Friday but this has not been confirmed by either side.

No 10’s spokesperson said: “Negotiations will continue virtually – it’s a matter for them when and if they choose to travel.

“The PM believes that the UK will thrive with or without a deal with the EU, but it remains our ambition to reach a free trade agreement which is why we continue to negotiate.”

Amazon spends $500m on bonuses for Christmas staff

Amazon is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on bonuses for Christmas staff after sales at the online giant soared during the pandemic.

Full-time warehouse workers in the UK and the US will receive £300 or $300, with £150 or $150 for part-time staff.

The money will be given to those employed between 1 and 31 December.

The firm, run by Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, praised staff for “serving customers’ essential needs” during the pandemic.

In a blog post, Dave Clark, senior vice president of Amazon Worldwide Operations, wrote: “I’m grateful to our teams who continue to play a vital role serving their communities.

“As we head into the peak of the holiday season, we want to share our appreciation through another special recognition bonus, totalling more than $500 million for our front-line employees.”

The firm has come under intense scrutiny for working practices in its warehouses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Labour activists in the US, for example, recently called on big retailers like Amazon and Walmart to do more to protect workers as surging Covid-19 cases coincide with the holiday shopping rush.

They are calling for hazard pay, paid sick leave and better communication about outbreaks.

Amazon workers have raised concerns about their health and working conditions in Europe as well as in the US, claiming it is almost impossible to practice social distancing.

Earlier this year, Amazon was forced to shut down several warehouses in France in an ongoing row over conditions.

The company has previously said that its guidelines are adequate and that it provides employees with face masks.

Amazon has been one of the retail winners during coronavirus lockdowns as online deliveries skyrocketed when High Street shops closed.

Sales will also be boosted during the Black Friday sales bonanza, although a coalition of trade unions, environmentalists and other activists have urged consumers to boycott the firm.

Protests are being planned in several countries, and in Germany, the trade union Verdi has organised three-day strikes at Amazon warehouses,

Sales at the internet giant shot to $96.1bn in the three months to 30 September – up 37% from the same period in 2019. And profits hit a record $6.3bn, nearly three times last year’s total.

But that level of growth has not come without additional costs. Amazon said it had $2.5bn in Covid-related expenses.

In the UK it has also had to create thousands of jobs, as well as 20,000 seasonal posts, in a bid to keep up with shoppers.

Holy grail rail posters collection saved from attic

An archive of railway posters from the golden age of steam found in a disused attic is up for sale.

The daughter of a former British Railways employee found the collection of 170 items in the “collapsing loft” of a West London home.

Some of the art deco posters date back to the 1930s and are valued at between £2,000 and £3,000.

David Bownes, from Twentieth Century Posters, described the collection as “sensational”.

He said the woman who contacted him about the posters had “no idea” of their value.

“You dream of a loft find – it’s like the holy grail,” he said.

“This loft was in terrible condition. Part of the roof had collapsed in.

“The posters were all rolled up and there were boxes of photographs and ephemera from the Great Western Railway’s publicity office.

“It was just sensational.”

Mr Bownes said the woman’s father had worked for the former British Railways (Western Region) publicity office at Paddington in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

“Back then, redundant publicity, including posters, was routinely consigned to the skip, but it seems that this employee had the vision to preserve examples for posterity,” he said.

One of the posters, already sold for £2,100, is a 1955 piece by renowned artist David Shepherd entitled Service By Night.

Other artworks include Charles Mayo’s 1939 work Speed to the West and a 1930s publicity poster for the Wye Valley Railway by F Gregory Brown.

Terror sentence changes will apply to Northern Ireland

The DUP and Ulster Unionists have welcomed confirmation that the government will use its power to include NI in recent legislation on the sentencing around terrorist offences.

The move overrides approval being blocked by executive disagreement.

The legislation stipulates two-thirds of a custodial sentence must be served before parole is considered.

The Ministry of Justice in London said it wanted a unified approach to sentencing arrangements.

The Terrorist Offenders Bill was passed at Westminster earlier this year.

The bill was introduced in response to an Islamist-related terrorist incident in London last January.

The attacker, Sudesh Amman, had been freed from prison 10 days earlier.

In October, Stormont’s Justice Minister Naomi long told the government there was no consensus to bring forward a Legislative Consent Motion giving approval to Northern Ireland’s inclusion.

However, the government has chosen to bypass Stormont over the content of its Counter Terrorism and Sentencing Bill.

DUP MP Gavin Robinson said: “It would have been preferable had a motion been brought and passed by the assembly, but these are excepted matters and it is right the government will ensure Northern Ireland is covered by this legislation.

“Ensuring that serious and dangerous terrorist offenders spend longer in custody is something which no sensible person could argue against.”

Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie claimed Mrs Long had a part to play in the government having to act.

He said: “The justice minister needs to explain why she initially supported this bill, then tried to dilute it and finally sought to stop this happening.”

Overseas aid: No guarantee cut can be reversed soon, says Dominic Raab

Ministers cannot guarantee a proposed cut to overseas aid can be reversed in the “foreseeable, immediate future,” the foreign secretary has said.

Dominic Raab told MPs a new law would be required to reduce aid spending to 0.5% of national income, down from the current 0.7% legal minimum.

He said economic uncertainty meant the £4bn cut could not be made under tweaks to current laws.

Charities and opposition MPs have denounced the cut, due from next April.

The move has also been criticised by some Conservatives MPs, who point out that it was a key promise in the party’s 2019 general election manifesto.

But other Conservatives have defended the cut, arguing it is backed by voters and domestic spending should come first during the Covid pandemic.

Mr Raab defended the cut as a “temporary measure” due to the Covid pandemic, and pledged the 0.7% target would return when finances allowed.

The reduction – which will see aid spending fall to £10bn next year – was announced by the chancellor on Wednesday as part of his Spending Review.

Shortly after it was announced, Conservative peer Baroness Sugg quit as a Foreign Office minister in protest, calling it “fundamentally wrong”.

But updating MPs on Thursday, Mr Raab said the cut was a “matter of necessity” and the government had taken the decision “with regret”.

He said constituents would understand the decision “because they live in the real world,” and the amount the UK spends on foreign aid would remain “extraordinary”.

He added that assistance to poorer countries would not be “salami sliced” across the board, with the smaller budget targeted at UK development priorities.

He said these included tackling climate change, Covid-19, girls’ education, and conflict resolution.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) will carry out a review of aid spending by other government departments, and will have a greater role in co-ordinating such spending, he added.

He confirmed ministers would need to override legislation guaranteeing the 0.7% target, passed under former Conservative PM David Cameron in 2015.

The International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Act contains an exemption allowing ministers to miss the target in exceptional circumstances.

But this exemption only applies retrospectively – and ministers are also required to set out steps they are taking to meet the target the following year.

Mr Raab told MPs ministers would not be able to use the exemption because of the “inherent degree of uncertainty” about the future of public finances.

“It’s very clear that if we cannot see a path forward back to 0.7% in the foreseeable, immediate future, and we can’t plan for that, then the legislation would require us to change it,” he said.

“And it would almost certainly face legal challenge if we don’t very carefully follow it,” he added.

Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat said he was “disappointed” with the cut, and suggested the new law should specify an end-date for any reduction in spending.

Shadow international development secretary Preet Kaur Gill said Labour would work with Conservative opponents of the cut to “stop this retreat”.

Other Conservatives backbenchers have however backed the move, including Philip Davies, who said on Wednesday that the “vast majority” of the British public would support a reduction in spending and “will probably be asking why are we still spending so much”.

His party colleague Andrea Jenkyns also said on Wednesday she “wholeheartedly” backed the move to cut foreign aid, particularly given the “difficult times”.

“We need to invest in our own country’s future, so we can become a real global powerhouse once more,” she wrote on Twitter.

UK aid spending this year has already fallen by £2.9bn due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis on gross national income (GNI), before the latest cut to the target was announced.

If public spending was £100, how would it be split?

Along with the keys to No 11 Downing Street, the chancellor is given the job of doling out hundreds of billions of pounds of taxpayer money every year.

In fact, for the first time this year, government spending will top a massive £1 trillion. But where does it actually go?

Like most of us, the chancellor has priorities, necessities, a wishlist – and unforeseen bills

For every £100 the central government spends next year, the biggest slice – more than £20 – will go on welfare payments such as pensions and universal credit. Much of that is dictated by factors such as an ageing population or unemployment. These fluctuate and so are hard for the government to control.

The next biggest chunk – £17.50 – goes on health. Education accounts for a further £7, while defence covers £4.50.

We’ve heard a lot about how the government has to borrow to help fund the spending bill this year. But as part of that debt has been picked up by the Bank of England, and interest rates are so low, that slice accounts for just £2 of every £100 – the smallest in decades.

That interest too is hard to predict. And with spending already sketched out for some big departments, such as health and defence, the chancellor’s announcement only revealed plans for about £35 of every £100 the government will be spending in the next year.

Foreign aid has grabbed headlines but accounts for just 70p; the cuts announced now reduces that to 50p.

Be it fixing potholes or extra cash for the armed forces, government departments have to plead their case with the chancellor. And there are always winners and losers.

In the past couple of years, the government has claimed that austerity is over, the spending tap has been reopened and every department has been bestowed with more cash.

But over the past decade or so, the cost of living has risen and the population has grown. So money has to stretch further. And that money is split between day-to-day spending – from salaries to operations – and investment in the likes of roads, or capital investment.

Strip out that investment spending, and allow for inflation and the growing population, and while the health service will be better off in the next few years, defence actually won’t be. In other words, it is more of a stretch to maintain day-to-day public services

One in every £4 the government spends, goes towards paying our 5.5 million public sector workers.

Frontline staff from nurses to police officers were awarded inflation-busting pay rises in the summer as they battled in the face of the virus.

But they were also warned not to expect more. Now 1.3 million people will have their pay rises “paused” for a year, saving the chancellor a billion or two.

His argument is that it’s not fair to give wholesale rises when so many private sector workers have seen their incomes shrink or been laid off – and it is they who foot some of the public sector pay bill.

Exempt from the freeze will be the 31% who work in the health service – and anyone whose pay is under £24,000.

Also exempt will be those employed by local government and the devolved administrations, whose pay will be determined there. But the employers of those two groups could decide to impose curbs themselves.

The curb on public sector pay may feel like that Rishi Sunak is playing Scrooge.

But the cost of fighting the spread of coronavirus, and limiting the economic fallout has soared. It has now hit £280bn for this year – accounting for about £25 in every £100 the government is spending.

Much of that has gone on health and other services. About £40bn has gone on test and trace, PPE and vaccine implementation – the equivalent of more than £1,500 per household. Questions are already being asked if those sums have been spent wisely or effectively.

And then there’s the support to the economy. The bill for furlough is expected to reach almost twice as much, at £70bn, with a further £20bn going to help the self-employed.

Most of such schemes will end come next March. But the health response won’t – Mr Sunak expects that he’ll have to fork out another £55bn, over 5% of the spending pot, on that in the next financial year.

In normal years, the government covers the vast majority of its spending through the tax it takes in – from income tax to VAT to Air Passenger Duty – around £94 of every 100 last year.

But this year those sources of income have suffered – just as outgoings have soared. For the first time, government spending will top £1 trillion.

This year the government will only fund about two-thirds of spending through taxation. That’s equal to the biggest shortfall since World War Two.

At present, the government can borrow cheaply to plug the gap. But not forever. Rishi Sunak has already indicated he’ll be looking to raise taxes – not yet, (for it’s more than the economy could stand ) but in the years ahead.

The chancellor may still be doling out cash – but payback is coming.

Covid-19: Estonia and Latvia taken off travel corridor list

People coming to the UK from Estonia and Latvia will need to quarantine from 04:00 GMT on Saturday.

The two Baltic states have been taken off of the UK government’s travel corridor list.

At the same time, Aruba, Bhutan, East Timor, Mongolia and some Pacific Islands have been added, meaning travellers from those places will not need to self-isolate.

However, current rules ban travel abroad unless for specific reasons.

The UK government has also changed its rules on Denmark, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.

While travellers from Denmark to the UK will still need to self-isolate, the government is lifting the “total travel ban” on Saturday. The Foreign Office currently advises against all but essential travel to Denmark amid concerns over a new coronavirus strain that has spread from mink.

Anyone arriving into the UK from most destinations must quarantine for 14 days.

But there are a list of countries exempt from the rules, meaning returning travellers do not need to self-isolate, called the travel corridor list.

The UK government often announces changes to that list on Thursdays.

Making the announcement on Thursday, Mr Shapps said latest data means Estonia and Latvia must be taken off the list.

Estonia and Latvia were added to the travel corridor list in July, but have now been taken off.

There has been a sharp rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in Latvia in recent weeks, according to the Foreign Office. The Latvian government has announced a state of emergency lasting until 6 December.

Estonia’s government has also introduced extra restrictions from 24 November.

Mr Shapps said Bhutan, East Timor, Mongolia, Aruba and six Pacific Islands (Samoa, Kiribati, Micronesia, Tonga, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands) had been added to the list, effective from 4:00 on Saturday.

In England until 2 December, foreign travel is currently only permitted for work, education or if someone has another valid reason.

People can only travel in and out of Wales with a reasonable excuse, such as going to work or school.

In Northern Ireland, people are advised to only travel for necessary reasons and to “carefully consider” their holiday and travel options, in light of the pandemic.

In Scotland, people living in higher risk areas should avoid unnecessary travel to other places.

Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine dose error explained

On Monday, the world heard how the UK’s Covid vaccine – from AstraZeneca and Oxford University – was highly effective in advanced trials.

It gave hope of another new jab to fight the pandemic that should be cheaper and easier to distribute than the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines that announced similarly impressive results just days before.

But after the jubilation, some negative press has followed.

On Thursday, multiple news outlets in the UK and US reported that there were questions over the data. They weren’t about safety, but rather how effective the jab is.

The questions centre around efficacy levels.

Three were reported from the trial – an overall efficacy of 70%, a lower one of 62% and a high of 90%.

That’s because different doses of the vaccine were mistakenly used in the trial. Some volunteers were given shots half the planned strength, in error. Yet that “wrong” dose turned out to be a winner.

Some of the shots were weaker than they were designed to be, containing much less of the ingredient that is meant to give a person immunity.

The jab is actually two shots, with the second given a month after the first as a booster.

While most of the volunteers in the trial got the correct dose for both of their two shots, some didn’t.

Regulators were told about the error early on and they agreed that the trial could continue and more volunteers could be immunised.

The error had no effect on vaccine safety.

About 3,000 participants were given the half dose and then a full dose four weeks later, and this regime appeared to provide the most protection or efficacy in the trial – around 90%.

In the larger group of nearly 9,000 volunteers, who were given two full doses also four weeks apart, efficacy was 62%.

AstraZeneca reported these percentages and also said that its vaccine was, on average, 70% effective at preventing Covid-19 illness. The figures left some experts scratching their head.

Prof David Salisbury, immunisation expert and associate fellow of the global health program at the Chatham House think tank, said: “You’ve taken two studies for which different doses were used and come up with a composite that doesn’t represent either of the doses. I think many people are having trouble with that.″

AstraZeneca stressed that the data are preliminary, rather than full and final – which is true for the reported Pfizer and Moderna jab results too. It is science by press release.

When they can, all of the companies will publish full results in medical journals for public scrutiny.

And they are submitting full data to regulators to apply for emergency approval so that countries can start using these three different vaccines to immunise whole populations.

The US regulator, called the FDA, have said any Covid vaccine needs to be at least 50% effective to be useful in fighting the pandemic.

Even if you take the lowest figure of effectiveness for the AstraZeneca jab, it still passes that benchmark.

The efficacy analysis was based on 131 cases of Covid-19 that occurred in the study participants:

The Oxford researchers are investigating why the weaker dose followed by a full one appeared to work better than two full ones.

One idea is that a low then high dose shot may be a better mimic of a coronavirus infection and lead to a better immune response.

But it is possible that the volunteers who got the half doses are somewhat different to those who got two big shots.

Moncef Slaoui, the scientific head of the US’s Operation Warp Speed – the programme to supply America with vaccines – told US reporters that the half-dose group only included people younger than 55.

Since age is the biggest risk factor for getting seriously ill with Covid-19, a vaccine that protects the elderly is extremely important.

However, results from an earlier phase two study of the Oxford vaccine, published in The Lancet medical journal, showed the vaccine produced a strong response in all age groups.

AstraZeneca said: “The studies were conducted to the highest standards.

“More data will continue to accumulate and additional analysis will be conducted refining the efficacy reading and establishing the duration of protection.”

The company said it would run a new study to evaluate a lower dosage that performed better.

Its chief executive Pascal Soriot said it would probably be another “international study, but this one could be faster because we know the efficacy is high so we need a smaller number of patients”.

Although the dosing was different, the rest of the study didn’t change from the original plan.

Prof Peter Openshaw, an expert at Imperial College London, says the take home message should be that we have three very promising Covid vaccines that could soon become available to help save lives.

“We have to wait for the full data and to see how the regulators view the results.

“All we have to go on is a limited data release. The protection from the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine may be less than that from the mRNA vaccines, but we need to wait and see.

“It is remarkable that each of the trials that are now reporting shows protection, which we did not know was going to be possible.”

He added: “We have been wanting vaccines for many diseases for a long time and they haven’t arrived – HIV, TB and malaria being good examples.

“The results so far seem to show that it can be done for Covid-19, and that’s very good news indeed.”

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