Matt Hancock has revealed the movie Contagion, a film about a deadly viral pandemic, provided him inspiration for the UK’s Covid-19 vaccine strategy.
The health secretary said the film, starring Matt Damon, had helped demonstrate to him the importance of securing enough vaccines once they had been approved, though he was careful to point out it was not his sole inspiration for bulk buying jabs ahead of the pack.
The Cabinet minister told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I think the safest thing to say is it wasn’t my only source of advice on this issue but I did watch the film – it is actually based on the advice of very serious epidemiologists.
“The insight that was so necessary at the start was that the big pressure on vaccines internationally would not be before they were approved – of course, there was a huge amount of work then – but it was after they are approved.
“So, one of the things I did early (on), was insist that when we had the Oxford vaccine, and we backed it from the start and that was great, I insisted that UK production protects people in the UK in the first instance. And, as the UK Health Secretary, that is my duty.”
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