AN EARLY coronavirus vaccine is not a get out of jail free card, the First Minister has warned.

As progress continues to be made on a coronavirus vaccines right across the world, First Minister Mark Drakeford has warned this will not be the final solution.

In a special interview, he said that he is ‘allergic' to offering the people of Wales the prospect of a ‘magic moment’ when everything will just be ok again.

He added: “I think there’s a lot of progress on vaccines and in the next calendar year we will begin to see vaccines become available, but I worry that when most people hear that they think of the MMR vaccine where when you have it as a child you’re ok for life.

“Or at most it’s like the flu vaccine where you have it once and you’re ok for the rest of the year, but actually the vaccine likely to come on the earliest will not be like that.

“It will give some protection for some period of time and it won’t be a get out of jail free card. Part of this will be we just have to find better ways of living with it.

“I do think there will be better ways. The NHS is definitely more equipped this winter than it was last spring in terms of treatments.

“Even with the number of people we are seeing in hospital, we are not yet seeing that translating to the same volume of people needing critical care as we were earlier in the year.

“We think that is because there are more effective treatments early on in the process.”

The First Minister went on to say that testing is the biggest short-term hope.

It is hoped that a ‘pregnancy test’ style of coronavirus test will be in place which can be done at home and give a result within half an hour.

Mr Drakeford added that some of those tests are ‘really quite close to being ready’ and when they are this will open up new ways of managing the things people would like to get back to doing.

The First Minister also discussed whether there was enough staff to deal with the extra capacity within the NHS setting.

He said that the answer to capacity was ‘not just money’, because if you have not got the people then you’re lacking in ability.

He added that the health service has found new ways to stretch the staffing capacity it has such as additional training over the summer.

The First Minister said: “These are the people we have relied on ever since this started in February. They’ve had a very tough time and there is a limit on how much you can go on asking people to do more and more.

“We did get a very good response earlier in the year from people recently retired who came back and filled all sorts of jobs.

“We allowed them to go back into retirement in July but it may well be that we need to go back and see if there are people who are willing to come back and help. But the demands we are making on our health and social care staff are extraordinary.

“I do worry sometimes when I get messages from people saying coronavirus is all a conspiracy, when that person falls ill they will expect the NHS to be there for them, they won’t be relying on conspiracy theory then

“One of the hardest things really is people don’t see how their actions end up with other people putting themselves at risk in order to rescue you from what you’ve done.

“I would hate to be in that position myself, so I hope most people in Wales wouldn’t want to be in that position either.”