Covid-19 Response

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:37 pm on 18th May 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 3:37 pm, 18th May 2020

It is not quite fair to say that Wales has not been served on PPE or testing. I have worked very closely with the Welsh Labour Government, and although the number of tests declared per day in Wales is low—it is only just over 1,000—there is access to UK-wide testing capabilities, such as home testing and the drive-through centres.

On the hon. Gentleman’s substantive point about the vaccine, I am delighted that we have been able to come to an agreement with AstraZeneca. If the science behind the Oxford vaccine works, it is likely to be one of the first available in the world, and we then have an agreement to ensure that 100 million doses are available for the UK, the first 30 million of which will be right at the start for the most vulnerable. That is a UK-wide policy—we will deliver it right across these islands. We should pay tribute to the work and the ingenuity of our scientists in Oxford and to the industrial might of AstraZeneca, who together, should they manage to pull off the science, will be able to deliver this vaccine to our population as we need it. Vaccine science is an uncertain business. That is why we cannot ever be 100% sure that there will be a safe and effective vaccine, but we are putting everything we can into making sure that we give them the best possible chance for every citizen of the whole United Kingdom.