UK begins coronavirus vaccine rollout | DW News

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  • DW News published this video item, entitled “UK begins coronavirus vaccine rollout | DW News” – below is their description.

    Britain on Tuesday began rolling out the first doses of a widely tested and independently reviewed COVID-19 vaccine, kicking off the biggest vaccination program in the country’s history. People over 80, care home workers, and at-risk frontline health and social care staff were the first in line to receive the jabs, a day that has been dubbed “V-Day.” They will require a second dose in 21 days. The first recipient was grandmother Margaret Keenan, who turns 91 next week. Meanwhile, Buckingham Palace refused to comment on reports that Queen Elizabeth II, 94, and her 99-year-old husband, Prince Philip, would be vaccinated as a public example of its safety.

    Public health officials are asking the public to be patient because only those who are most at risk from the virus will be vaccinated in the early stages. Most people will have to wait until next year to be vaccinated, until there is enough supply to expand the program. The first 800,000 doses will go to people over 80 who are either hospitalized or already have outpatient appointments scheduled, and nursing home workers.

    Last week, Britain became the first country to approve the BioNtech-Pfizer vaccine, raising hopes of a breakthrough in the pandemic, which has killed more than 1.5 million people. The UK has been one of the countries hardest-hit by the pandemic, both in Europe and worldwide, recording over 61,000 deaths and 1.6 million cases. The country has ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine — enough to innocculate 20 million people. Up to 4 million of those doses are expected by the end of December.

    The government is targeting more than 25 million people, or about 40% of the population, in the first phase of its vaccination program. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who spent days in intensive care with COVID-19 earlier this year, called it a “huge step forward in the UK’s fight against coronavirus.” UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who has offered to take the vaccine on live television, said the roll-out was a “key moment” that would protect the most vulnerable. European Union authorities are also reviewing the vaccine, alongside rival products developed by US biotechnology company Moderna, and a collaboration between Oxford University and pharmeceutical producer AstraZeneca.

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    AstraZeneca plc/AB (LON: AZN) is a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company with its headquarters in Cambridge, United Kingdom and Södertälje, Sweden. Its R&D is concentrated in Cambridge in United Kingdom, Södertälje in Sweden, and Maryland and Toronto in North America.

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    Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

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    Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms. Elizabeth was born in Mayfair, London, as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York. Her father ascended the throne on the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII in 1936, from which time she was the heir presumptive.

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