Coronavirus Response

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:48 pm on 20th July 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 4:48 pm, 20th July 2020

Yes—we are planning to provide exactly the reassurance that my right hon. Friend seeks, in two ways. First, the essential point is that we will not approve a vaccine until we are clinically confident that it is safe. We would never approve a vaccine unless we were clinically confident that it was safe.

Secondly, we will also have a communications campaign. To answer a point that was raised earlier but to which I did not respond at the time, we have already published a plan for the order in which people will have access to the vaccine, starting with the most vulnerable. In essence, it consists of going down by age through those with comorbidities and health and social careworkers. We have to make sure that we reassure people and that we assure them that we are doing the roll-out in a clinically valid way.

Finally, on Southampton, my right hon. Friend is an assiduous representative of the environs of Southampton. When Southampton is doing well, Romsey is undoubtedly part of Southampton. In this case, Southampton is doing very well; let us hope that it continues.