Jonathan Van-Tam says coronavirus will 'be with humankind forever'
Van-Tam was speaking at a government presser alongside the prime minister
Prime minister Boris Johnson was left looking flustered during a government press conference on Wednesday evening after Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam said that he doesn't for see a future for society without masks.
Speaking at a press conference on the day that the United Kingdom approved the rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, Van-Tam was hopeful but preached caution over ideas people may have regarding a return to normal life.
Van-Tam revealed that the first rollout of the vaccine will eradicate 99 percent of Covid-19 deaths, put admitted that a mask and handwash-free post-vaccine future is unlikely.
"Do I think there will come a big moment where we have a massive party & throw our masks & hand sanitiser & say 'it's behind us', like the end of the war? No, I don't," said Van-Tam.
The PM then interjected, saying: "On the other hand, we may want to get back to life as pretty much as close to normal."
Speaking at Downing Street, Van-Tam admitted that he was emotional upon hearing of the development of the vaccine, and called it a "momentous journey".
"What a momentous journey"
Prof Jonathan Van Tam says he was "quite emotional this morning" hearing how the vaccine had been developed and approved
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The Covid-19 vaccine is set to be rolled out next week after gaining approval, and will initially be rolled out to care home residents and workers, with everyone older than 50 to be vaccinated by the end of phase one.
In a statement on Wednesday morning, Matt Hancock said the vaccine will be made available from next week and that the NHS will “begin putting their extensive preparations into action to provide care and support to all those eligible for vaccination”.