It’s official – there is a new vaccine for Covid-19, manufactured by Pfizer, that is 90 per cent effective, which is as good as it gets in the world of vaccines.
The UK has already ordered 40 million doses – enough for a third of the UK population (as you need two doses each), 10 million of which will be available towards the end of 2020.
They will be provided to people living in areas where the number of people infected by the virus is growing most strongly.
So This Writer won’t be getting it for a while (I live in the middle of Wales, which has not suffered heavy infection).
Bizarrely, the announcement comes only days after I humorously tweeted this:
— Mike Sivier (@MidWalesMike) November 7, 2020
Only two days out; that’s not bad!
Sadly, Boris Johnson is bad – and his Downing Street Briefing was guaranteed to make viewers cringe.
It was bad enough that he appeared on our TV screens after an uplifting speech by US President-elect Joe Biden, who welcomed the news as a cause for “hope”.
How did Johnson compare? Well…
— Susandb (Wear A Mask) 🇯🇲 🇧🇧 🇬🇧 BLM (@susandb1968) November 9, 2020
— Matt E Hudson (@MattEHuds) November 9, 2020
He turned up with Jonathan Van Tam on one side and Brigadier Joe Fossey on the other – sparking some pointed questions.
— Harry Palmer (@harrypalmer285) November 9, 2020
Johnson’s first words did not inspire confidence:
The PM…. 'People across the country, indeed the world are asking themselves one question this evening'.
— daddo friel (@daddofriel) November 9, 2020
He went on to tell us his assessment – which, strangely enough, seems to be exactly the same as the assessment that had just been announced on all the news channels.
Then he departed from reality altogether with a comment about “tooting the bugle of the scientific cavalry” – at which point I’m sure the viewing public, as one, said: “Tooting the – what?”
— Edie Faulkner (@EdeFaulkner) November 9, 2020
Is "tooting your bugle" slang for an act done after dark in an Eton dormitory?#DowningStreetBriefing
— Peter Smith (@Redpeter99) November 9, 2020
It may well be. I thought it was an elaborate way of introducing the military gentleman to Johnson’s left but it turns out he was just being florid. Or, if you like, daft.
Lamenting the increase in Covid infections across the UK, in hospitalisations and in deaths – which his policies have done nothing to prevent (in fact they may have actually encouraged increased fatalities), Johnson expressed his keenness to establish mass testing – a project he claimed was still “in its infancy”.
Mass testing in infancy what the hell have we been doing since MARCH. We must rid ourselves of this idiot Boris
— Michael (@m22mjj) November 9, 2020
It turned out that Brigadier Fossey was there to explain how the army was carrying out mass testing in Liverpool.
— 𝕄𝕣 𝔼𝕕 💫 (@gerainted) November 9, 2020
Unfortunately, Brigadier Fossey had considerably less impact on the public than his fictional counterpart (above).
Reading from a prepared statement, he failed to impress:
— Parody Matt Hancock (@ParodyHancock) November 9, 2020
Then Jonathan Van Tam had something to say about the vaccines, and I’m sure there were questions, but I was losing the will to live by then.
The briefing as a whole was like watching an edition of children’s BBC news programme Newsround stretched to an unfeasible length and then padded with the same information – or irrelevant information – repeated time and again.
The impression I got – that I think Johnson was trying to make – was that although a vaccine is available, we’re not going to get it. At least, not for a long time.
He was saying we should continue to follow the safety procedures and restrictions that have been imposed on us since March in the meantime.
Message received – but with difficulty, due to all the flannel surrounding it.
Johnson might think it’s all part of his jolly media personality but it is just getting in the way.
And so is he.
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