Prof Chris Smith: Vaccine success very encouraging

Research led by Public Health Scotland suggesting the UK vaccination programme is having a "spectacular" impact on preventing serious illness was "very encouraging", consultant medical virologist Prof Chris Smith, at the University of Cambridge, said.

The research showed hospital admissions had been reduced by 85% and 94% for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca jabs respectively.

This meant increased contact between people would not raise hospital admissions that could overwhelm the NHS, Prof Smith, who presents the BBC's Naked Scientists programme, told BBC World News.

"What this enables us to do is to know we are in a much safer position," he said.

"We can take more risk because the risk is smaller."