Boris Johnson Says People Should Not 'Rely' On Vaccine News Just Yet

Maria Goncalves

Boris Johnson urged people to be cautious following reports that a new COVID-19 vaccine could be underway before the end of the year.

According to BBC News, the U.K. prime minister said that the news regarding a new coronavirus vaccine trial, which demonstrated successful results, was positive but people should not "rely" on the reports because there was still a lot of work to be done ahead. Johnson said these were still "very, very early days" in the process of making a safe and efficient vaccine against the virus.

"The biggest mistake we could make now would be to slacken our resolve at a critical moment," the British prime minister said during a conference on Monday at Downing Street.

"I remain buoyantly optimistic about the prospects of this country next year. I just don't want to let people run away with the idea that this development is a home run, a slam dunk, a shot to the back of the net, yet. There is a long way before we have got this thing beat," he added, as quoted by Sky News.

Johnson spoke just days after England entered a new month-long nationwide lockdown, which is meant to end on December 2, as The Telegraph reported. He said that the scientific developments in regard to a possible COVID-19 vaccine "cleared one significant hurdle," but that there are still several obstacles ahead before the pandemic can be considered under control. The PM spoke in a cautious tone, urging British citizens to continue playing it safe following the government-imposed restrictions.

Per the BBC report, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer for England, called the news a "very important scientific breakthrough," but claimed he was not sure whether the vaccine would be made available by Christmas time.

While Van-Tam hailed the discovery, he explained it had no impact on the current epidemic that the U.K. is going through. He stressed the importance of keeping one's guard up and following the lockdown measures and added that elderly people would be prioritized. The scientist said that the United Kingdom had ordered 40 million vaccine doses, which is enough to vaccinate up to 20 million people.

As reported by The Inquisitr, the new vaccine was developed by U.S. pharma giant Pfizer and German-based BioNTech. On Monday, Pfizer's CEO announced that the vaccine passed another trial and was over 90 percent effective at stopping COVID-19, saying that no adverse health effects were observed.