90-year-old grandmother receives first dose of Pfizer vaccine as UK declares COVID “V-Day”

London – UK health authorities have started rolling out the first doses of a widely tested and independently reviewed drug Covid-19 vaccine Tuesday, the launch of a global immunization program that is expected to gain momentum as more sera are approved. The first strike took place early in the morning in one of the country’s hospital networks where the initial phase of the British program will be rolled out during what has been dubbed “V-Day”.

Public health officials ask the public to be patient, as only those who are most exposed to the new coronavirus will be vaccinated at an early stage. Medical staff will contact people to arrange appointments, and most will have to wait until next year before there are enough vaccines to expand the program.

Virus outbreak in Britain
Margaret Keenan, 90, the first UK patient to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, administered by nurse May Parsons at University Hospital in Coventry, England, December 8, 2020.

Jacob King / Pool / AP


“I think there is every chance that we will look back (Tuesday) as a watershed moment in the battle against the coronavirus,” said Simon Stevens, CEO of England’s National Health Service.

The first recipient was Grandmother Margaret Keenan, who turns 91 next week. She received the blow at Coventry University Hospital at 6:31 a.m.

Keenan said she felt “so privileged to be the first person to be vaccinated against COVID-19”.

“This is the best birthday present I could wish for because it means I can finally look forward to spending time with my family and friends for the New Year after being alone for most of the year,” said she declared.


A health official on the distribution of the COVID vaccine …

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The second injection went to a man named William Shakespeare, an 81-year-old from Warwickshire, the county where the bard was born, prompting a likely well-planned response online and in the press.

“Taming the flu: William Shakespeare becomes the second person to be vaccinated against the Covid”, joked the British newspaper Independent.

In a tweet, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson thanked the country’s health service, the developers of the vaccine, the volunteers who helped prove it to be safe and effective through trials, and “all who have followed the rules to protect others “.

“We’re going to beat this together,” Johnson said.

The first 800,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine in the UK will go to people over 80 who are either hospitalized or already have scheduled outpatient appointments, as well as nursing home workers. Others will have to wait their turn, but all vaccines will be provided free of charge through the UK’s National Health Service.

Among the older Britons who need to be vaccinated is Hari Shukla of Newcastle.

“When I got the phone call, I was very happy that I had the opportunity to participate and participate,” he said. “So we are very, very happy, happy and excited as well. “


United States sees record COVID infections and hospital …

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Buckingham Palace declined to comment on reports that Queen Elizabeth II, 94, and her 99-year-old husband Prince Philip are being vaccinated as a public example of her safety.

“Our aim is to fully protect every member of the population, Her Majesty of course as well,” Dr June Raine, chief executive officer of the UK Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency, told the BBC.

Public health officials elsewhere are monitoring Britain’s deployment as they prepare for the unprecedented task of vaccinating billions to end a pandemic that has killed more than 1.5 million people. Although the UK has a well-developed infrastructure for the distribution of vaccines, it is designed to deliver them to groups such as schoolchildren or pregnant women, not the general population.

The UK is getting a head start on the project after UK regulators on December 2 gave emergency clearance to the vaccine produced by US drug maker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech. U.S. and European authorities are also reviewing the vaccine, alongside competing products developed by U.S. biotech company Moderna, and a collaboration between the University of Oxford and drugmaker AstraZeneca.

Saturday, Russia has started vaccinating thousands of people of doctors, teachers and others in dozens of centers in Moscow with its Sputnik V vaccine. This program is viewed differently because Russia authorized the use of Sputnik V last summer after it was tested on only a few dozen people .

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A nurse prepares to administer a dose of Russian vaccine Sputnik V against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a clinic in Moscow, December 5, 2020.

KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP / Getty


Russia still lacks meaningful trial data on older patients and has only made its vaccine available to Moscow residents between the ages of 18 and 60.

The first shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were delivered on Sunday to a selected group of UK hospitals.

At one such facility, Croydon University Hospital in South London, staff couldn’t even touch the vials, but they were delighted to have them in the building.

“I am so proud,” said Louise Coughlan, assistant chief pharmacist at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust.

The vaccine cannot arrive soon enough for the UK, which has more than 61,000 COVID-19-related deaths – more than any other country has reported in Europe. The UK has over 1.7 million cases.

The 800,000 doses are only a fraction of what is needed. The government is targeting more than 25 million people, or about 40% of the population, in the first phase of its immunization program, which prioritizes those most at risk of the disease.

After the over-80s and nursing home workers, the program will be expanded as supply increases, with the vaccine being offered roughly on the basis of age groups, starting with the oldest people. .

In England, the vaccine will be delivered to 50 hospitals during the first wave of the program, and more hospitals are expected to offer it as the rollout accelerates. Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are developing their own plans under the UK system of decentralized administration.

British authorities have made it clear that the vaccine will not be compulsory for anyone. As residents become eligible, they should be notified by their doctor’s office or the National Health Service and asked to make an appointment for inoculation.


States prepare for possible vaccine deployment

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Logistical problems are slowing the distribution of the Pfizer vaccine because it must be stored at -94 degrees Fahrenheit.

The vaccination program will be a “marathon, not a sprint,” said Professor Stephen Powis, NHS England medical director.

Authorities are also focusing on large-scale distribution points because each vaccine package contains 975 doses and they don’t want them to be wasted.

The UK has agreed to buy millions of doses from seven different producers. Governments around the world are making deals with multiple developers to ensure they lock down the delivery of products that are ultimately approved for widespread use.



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