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John Swinney, Mark Ruskell and Murdo Fraser Welcome COVID Vaccine Progress

LISTEN: John Swinney, Mark Ruskell and Murdo Fraser give their reaction to the news that a vaccine shows a promising potential

A breakthrough in the pursuit of a vaccine for the Coronavirus announced that a late stage vaccine is ‘90% effective in preventing COVID-19’.

Following the announcement from the pharmaceutical company, Pfizer and BioNTech, local Highland Perthshire representatives had their say.

Deputy First Minister and local representative for Perthshire North, John Swinney, said: “The news today in significant progress of the development of a COVID vaccine is very welcome news.

“And will have given great heart to everybody in Scotland given the challenges and the frustrations that we all feel about the impact of COVID in our lives.

“Although it’s still early days, and its so important that we all follow the current restrictions that are in place, it’s welcome that there is such progress being made on the development of a vaccine.”

Mr Swinney’s view that people in Highland Perthshire should not take this news for granted was matched by regional MSP Mark Ruskell.

He said: ” think it’s really, really welcome news, and it could be a bit of a glimmer of light at the end of what’s been a very dark tunnel for all of us during this COVID crisis.

“And I think in the mean time, it’s really important that we don’t allow the virus to take hold again and that we put in place, and keep in place, the restrictions that have kept us safe since the beginning of the summer.”

Although, Mr Ruskell was not the only one comparing the news to the end of ‘whats been a very dark tunnel’.

Murdo Fraser, another regional MSP, added: “And it’s good that, as we get to the end of it, finally we’re starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

“And there is a prospect of a vaccine that means that most of us will be able to get back to some degree of normality in the new year.”

In the chief executive of Pfizer’s announcement, Albert Bourla, made clear the time scale which his company are expecting to deliver the vaccine.

Explaining this plan, he said: “It’s important to note that we cannot apply for FDA Emergency Use Authorization based on these efficacy results alone. More data on safety is also needed, and we are continuing to accumulate that safety data as part of our ongoing clinical study.

“We estimate that a median of two months of safety data following the second and final dose of the vaccine candidate – required by FDA’s guidance for potential Emergency Use Authorization – will be available by the third week of November.”

Mr Bourla added that the current step in developing the vaccine proving that it is ‘consistently manufactured to meet quality standards.’

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