The prospect of a Covid-19 vaccine will be a “gamechanger” in tackling the virus but must not lead to complacency, the chief executive of Harrow Council has said.

Sean Harriss gave a presentation to the council’s cabinet yesterday (November 11), outlining its initial response to news of a possible vaccine against coronavirus.

On Monday (November 9), early results of an effective vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech suggested it could stop 90 per cent of people getting Covid-19.

While he acknowledged discussions are in their early stages, he stressed local authorities will have a “key role” in the delivery of any vaccine.

This covers things such as potential mass vaccination sites and its responsibilities in communicating information to residents.

“The Government has asked the NHS and local government to be in a position to start a rollout,” said Mr Harriss.

“This will be incredibly important in stopping the spread of the virus and allowing us to return to some form of normality.

“It does not mean that all of the other things people ought to be doing in terms of ‘hands, face, space’, social distancing, and complying with the regulations [should stop].

“The vaccine will be a significant gamechanger over the medium-term but, in the short-term, we need to continue to comply with the existing rules.”

He said he hopes to see the possible vaccine become a “major focus” over the next few months – which will result in a “significant increase” in work for the council – and will look to provide a more detailed update in December.