Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine: UK To Start COVID-19 Vaccinations On Tuesday
United Kingdom to commence the administration of first doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 on Tuesday, it has emerged.
Chris Hopson, head of NHS Provider, a membership organisation for the National Health Service trusts in England, announced this on Friday.
The NHS official told the BBC;
There are 50 hospital hubs and we know the vaccine will reach those to enable people to start vaccinating on Tuesday.
UK on Wednesday became the first country in the world to give emergency use approval to a candidate vaccine developed by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German company BioNTech.
The companies earlier announced that their vaccine had shown to be roughly 95 percent effective at preventing infection during clinical trials.
Following emergency approval given to the companies, UK Health Minister, Matt Hancock, on Wednesday said the first 800,000 doses of the 40 million doses the UK had secured would be available next week.
Local media reported on Thursday that the first batch entered the country via the Eurotunnel.
When asked if there was any target for the number of vaccines to be administered on Tuesday, Hopson said “as many as possible”.
He however stressed that the bulk of the immunization program would be carried out from January to March, 2021, adding; “It’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint”.
On his part, UK Business Minister, Alok Sharma, also confirmed that the plan is to start the vaccination programme next week, and said he was confident that all the 800,000 doses would be available by then.
Other countries, including Russia, have also developed vaccines. Russian President Vladimir Putin, also on Wednesday, ordered his government to begin a large-scale vaccination campaign next week.