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COVID-19: Self-isolating Boris Johnson says vaccine could be distributed ‘perhaps before Christmas’

Boris Johnson has declared himself “fit as a butcher’s dog” as he self-isolates, while also raising the prospect of a COVID-19 vaccine being distributed “perhaps before Christmas”.

The prime minister is currently self-isolating after meeting with a Conservative MP who later tested positive for coronavirus.

In a video posted to his Twitter account on Monday, Mr Johnson said he had been “pinged” by the NHS Test and Trace system.

He added: “It doesn’t matter that we were all doing social distancing, it doesn’t matter that I’m fit as a butcher’s dog, feel great – so many people do in my circumstances – and actually it doesn’t matter that I’ve had the disease and I’m bursting with antibodies.

“We’ve got to interrupt the spread of the disease and one of the ways we can do that now is by self-isolating for 14 days when you get contacted by NHS Test and Trace.”

The prime minister suggested his case proved NHS Test and Trace is “working well”, despite criticism of the £12bn programme.

He also said the UK now had “two gigantic boxing gloves with which to wallop our foe into submission”, amid the second wave of COVID-10 infections.

Mr Johnson outlined these as mass rapid testing for the disease and a vaccine “which I hope we’ll be able to start distributing to those who really need it perhaps before Christmas”.

US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its vaccine partner BioNTech last week released initial results that suggested their jab was 90% effective at protecting people from COVID-19.

The government has asked the NHS, which will be supported by the Armed Forces, to be ready for the deployment of a vaccine from the start of December.

The prime minister’s Twitter video was self-filmed without an opportunity for journalists to ask questions.

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