90-12 months-Outdated Lady Is U.Ok.’s First Coronavirus Vaccine Recipient : Coronavirus Updates : NPR


The U.Ok. launched its largest-ever immunization program Tuesday. Well being officers started allotting doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, first vaccinating healthcare staff and residents over the age of 80.

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The U.Ok. launched its largest-ever immunization program Tuesday. Well being officers started allotting doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, first vaccinating healthcare staff and residents over the age of 80.

Pool/Getty Pictures

Margaret Keenan, a grandmother of 4, made historical past Tuesday after getting a doubtlessly life-saving birthday current.

With one shot — or “jab” as Britons would possibly say — Keenan, who turns 91 subsequent week, formally launched the U.Ok.’s nationwide coronavirus immunization marketing campaign — the most important such effort in its historical past.

“I really feel so privileged to be the primary particular person vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19,” Keenan, who obtained the shot at 6:30 a.m. U.Ok. time, mentioned. “It is the perfect early birthday current I might want for as a result of it means I can lastly look ahead to spending time with my household and buddies within the New 12 months after being myself for a lot of the 12 months.”

The U.Ok.’s vaccination effort begins practically a 12 months after the virus first appeared in China and on the identical time a lot of the world nonetheless grapples with the pandemic.

British well being officers mentioned Tuesday marked a turning level within the nation’s battle with the virus, an sickness that has contaminated greater than 67 million folks world wide and has killed greater than 1.5 million folks, Johns Hopkins College knowledge exhibits. The U.Ok. alone has greater than 1.7 million confirmed COVID-19 circumstances.

Well being officers started the immunization marketing campaign simply six days after granting the vaccine’s makers, Pfizer and BioNTech, emergency approval. Britain’s authorities has secured 800,000 doses of the vaccine to this point, sufficient to present 400,000 folks two doses every, the federal government mentioned.

To immunize the remainder of the nation’s 68 million folks, well being officers should take care of monumental logistical challenges. Vials of the vaccine should be saved frozen at minus 70 levels Celsius (minus 94 levels Fahrenheit).

There are additionally considerations over how Britain’s impending break up from the European Union might influence the vaccine’s transport from Belgium, in accordance with The New York Instances. The federal government mentioned it was ready to ask the army to fly the vials over the border.

The U.Ok. will give the vaccine first to front-line well being staff, long-term care facility staff, and residents over 80 years outdated. Pictures might be made out there first at hospitals earlier than being distributed to physician’s workplaces.

“It can take some months to finish the work as extra vaccine provides change into out there and till then we should not drop our guard,” Nationwide Well being Service England’s chief government Sir Simon Stevens mentioned. “But when all of us keep vigilant within the weeks and months forward, we will look again at this as a decisive turning level within the battle in opposition to the virus.”

U.S. and Europe fall behind

The U.S. and different European international locations are anticipated to approve the vaccine’s emergency use later this month.

Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine has confirmed to be practically 95% efficient in medical trials. However the immunization marketing campaign within the U.S. might be harm important provide points.

A number of months in the past, the Trump administration handed on an possibility from Pfizer to buy extra vaccine doses past the preliminary 100 million agreed upon, in accordance with The New York Instances.

In the meantime, The Washington Submit stories that the administration has been instructed Pfizer that it could actually’t present extra vaccine till late June or July as a consequence of its commitments to different international locations.



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