More than one coronavirus vaccine will be available in the first quarter of 2021, a government scientific adviser has told Sky News.
Sir Jeremy Farrar, who sits on the SAGE committee, said: "I think in the first quarter of next year we will have vaccines – will have more than one vaccine."
It is unlikely the jabs will be administered before Christmas, which Sir Jeremy thinks "will be tough this year" and "not like a normal Christmas for almost everybody".
But he is expecting data on vaccines in November and December, pointing out that the UK has a "portfolio" of potential options.
He is also hopeful that treatments will begin to make a big difference in the new year.
His optimism echoes that of Jonathan Van-Tam, England's deputy chief medical officer, who has reportedly said a mass rollout of the jab being created at the University of Oxford and manufactured by AstraZeneca could happen around the turn of the year.
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Thousands of NHS staff will be trained to administer a vaccine, The Sunday Times added, with inoculations potentially beginning soon after Christmas.
In a briefing to MPs on Monday afternoon, Professor Van-Tam apparently said "we aren't light years away" from a jab.
He continued: "It isn't a totally unrealistic suggestion that we could deploy a vaccine soon after Christmas," adding that such a development would have a "significant impact on hospital admissions and deaths".
Professor Van-Tam is said to be expecting third stage results from the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine by the end of November.
Another multinational drug company, Pfizer, has already manufactured several hundred thousand doses of a jab at a plant in Belgium, the Mail on Sunday said.