The UK announced this morning that the National Health can start distributing a vaccine developed by Pfizer/BioNTech next week:
Britain's medicines regulator, the MHRA, says the jab, which offers up to 95% protection against Covid-19 illness, is safe to be rolled out.
Elderly people in care homes and care home staff have been placed top of the priority list, followed by over-80s and health and care staff.
But because hospitals already have the facilities to store the vaccine at -70C, as required, the very first vaccinations are likely to take place there - for care home staff, NHS staff and patients - so none of the vaccine is wasted.
The Pfizer/BioNTech jab is the fastest vaccine to go from concept to reality, taking only 10 months to follow the same steps that normally span 10 years.
The UK has already ordered 40 million doses of the jab - enough to vaccinate 20 million people.
The doses will be rolled out as quickly as they can be made by Pfizer in Belgium, Mr Hancock said, with the first load next week and then "several millions" throughout December.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the first people in Scotland will be immunised on Tuesday.
Here in the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have shortened the quarantine period recommended for people exposed to the virus but asymptomatic:
The first alternative is to end quarantine after 10 days if no symptoms are reported, Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC’s Covid-19 incident manager, said on a call with reporters. The second option is to end quarantine after seven days if an individual tests negative and also reports no symptoms.
The decision is based on new research and modeling data, Walke said.
Still, Walke noted that a 14-day quarantine is still the best way to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19.
The 14-day quarantine is based on the coronavirus's incubation period - the length of time it can take for a person to become infected after exposure to the virus.
We can see light at the end of this tunnel. Already, the Apollo Chorus have started discussing when we can resume in-person rehearsals and performances, in terms of city-wide infection rates, negative Covid tests, and vaccinations. We're going to get through this all right.