First in the West: The UK to Start Vaccinating Pfizer's Shots

On Sunday, Great Britain announced that the country has stocked another 2 million doses of a promising COVID vaccine, getting ready to start giving vaccine shots in a few days. With this, The UK will become the first Western country to allow mass inoculations against the pandemic.

With over 59,000 COVID deaths, the UK has had the deadliest COVID outbreak in Europe. Now the country expects much better data by launching vaccine shots from next week.

“The U.K. government has agreed to buy more than 350 million doses of vaccines from seven different producers, should they prove effective, as it prepares to vaccinate as many of the country’s 67 million people as possible,” according to the APNews.

Hospitals in England were told the first doses of the Pfizer shot could come in as early as the week of Dec. 7, if it were to be approved, and then, on Wednesday, Britain gave emergency authorization to Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, which is 95% effective, according to preliminary data

“Help is on its way with this vaccine — and we can now say that with certainty, rather than with all the caveats,” the British health secretary, Matt Hancock, said.

800,000 doses will be available by next week for health workers to begin administering. The enormous distribution will involve primary care doctors, as the military is setting up mass vaccination centers, according to the New York Times. Nursing home residents will be next to vaccinate, and older people, starting with those over 80, are next in line.

The UK beating the US to authorize vaccination of shots developed by an American company puts extra pressure on the White House. Read more about it in this NY Times piece.

By Nini Dakhundaridze

Image source: Ted Shaffrey/Associated Press

02 December 2020 14:04