UK becomes first country to roll out Oxford University-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
The UK has become the first country to administer the Oxford University-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to its population as coronavirus case numbers across the nation continue to rise.
The first dose of the jab was received this morning by 82-year-old kidney dialysis patient Brian Pinker, following the vaccine’s approval for emergency use in the UK last week.
Professor Stephen Powis, the national medical director of NHS England, told BBC Breakfast: “Four weeks ago I had the privilege to be in Coventry for the first jab of the Pfizer vaccine … that felt like a huge moment in this pandemic and, to be honest, today, when I saw the first jab in the building behind me of the AstraZeneca vaccine, felt like an even bigger moment, another turning point in our way out of this pandemic.”
“We’ve been preparing in the NHS for many months for the biggest vaccination programme in our history. We’ve already delivered over a million vaccines of the Pfizer jab; now we’ve got the AstraZeneca one, so we aim to get it into people’s arms as quickly as it is supplied to us. If we get two million doses a week, our aim is to get two million doses into the arms of those priority groups.”
Hundreds of new vaccination sites are set to open this week as the NHS works to administer the first 500,000 doses of the Oxford jab.
The vaccine roll-out comes as the UK recorded over 50,000 coronavirus cases for the sixth day in a row yesterday.
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