Results of accelerated COVID vaccine test and trial programmes around the world have come to fruition this month. US drugs company Pfizer and German company Biontech have been working collaboratively. On 9th November they jointly announced that they had achieved a critical success milestone and were ready to roll-out, subject to approval from the FDA. They’ve used a revolutionary method to produce a new type of vaccine that focusses on using a DNA template to encode a ‘messenger RNA (mRNA) with the instructions for the vaccinated person’s cells to produce the vaccine antigen of the infectious agent which in turn creates the immunity.
In response to the breakthrough, Mat Hancock made announcements that vaccination centres were bring established around the UK in preparation for possible distribution and immunisation programme to begin during December. The mood music is suddenly more optimistic with talk of a mass-roll-out ramping up during the first quarter of 2021
On 5th Nov the UK Government extended the Furlough scheme to end of March 2021. This was good news for most who need it, but not helpful for 5 million people who run and work for their own limited companies (like me). Not for the first time I find myself being shut out by a government who appear to be intent on lining the pockets of it’s own private club of members, while for every-one else, it’s just about appearances and spin to maintain political gain.
You don’t have to get for under the skin of any decent economic publication to see the dire position the UK is in at the moment. The ONS published a report on 10th Nov confirming that in the 3 months to Sep 2020 redundancies were rising at the fastest rate since records began, exceeding the figures of the Great Recession.