The UK became the first country to start vaccinating its citizens against Covid-19 using the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine on Monday. 82-year-old Brian Pinker, a dialysis patient, became the first person to receive the jab at Oxford’s Churchill Hospital, not far from where the vaccine was developed.
‘I am so pleased to be getting the Covid vaccine today and really proud that it is one that was invented in Oxford,’ he said in a statement released by the health service.
Andrew Pollard, the head of the Oxford Vaccine Group and chief investigator into the trial of it, also received the vaccine, the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) said.
Six hospitals in England will begin administering the first of around 530,000 doses of the vaccine, with the programme expanding across the UK in the coming days.
‘This is a pivotal moment in our fight against this awful virus and I hope it provides renewed hope to everybody that the end of this pandemic is in sight,’ the UK’s Health Minister Matt Hancock said in a statement.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is cheaper and can be stored at fridge temperature, making it easier to transport and use. India also approved the vaccine on Sunday for emergency use.
Spain started to administer the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines to elderly residents at care homes from last Sunday 27 December, although figures have not yet been released on how many citizens have so far received the vaccine.
Spain is scheduled to receive 350,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine per week over the next three months. Announcing Spain’s Vaccination Strategy at the end of November, it was also confirmed that the government has advance purchase agreements for Covid-19 vaccines with a total of five pharmaceutical companies: AstraZeneca/Oxford, Sanofi-GSK, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen and Curevac, in addition to Pfizer/BioNTech. Negotiations also continue with Moderna and Novavax.
The Spanish Health Ministry has released a list to summarise how it has divided the entire Spanish population into 15 groups in order to administer vaccinations. You can also click here for further details (in English) of the key points of Spain’s Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy.
Spain is to also set up a register of citizens who refuse to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, Health Minister Salvador Illa has said. He also said the information would not be made public, even though it would be shared with other EU member states.
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