Britain began vaccinating its population with Oxford University and AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 shot on Monday in a world first, racing to give protection to the elderly and vulnerable as a new surge of cases threatened to overwhelm hospitals.
Britain touted a scientific “triumph” as dialysis patient Brian Pinker, 82, became the first person to get the Oxford/AstraZeneca shot outside of a trial. As major powers eye the benefits of being first out of the pandemic, Britain is rushing to vaccinate its population faster than the United States and the rest of Europe, although Russia and China have been inoculating their citizens for months.
Just under a month since Britain became the first country to roll out the vaccine developed by Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech, Pinker, who has kidney disease, received the Oxford/AstraZeneca shot. “I am so pleased to be getting the Covid vaccine today and really proud that it is one that was invented in Oxford,” Pinker, a retired maintenance manager, said just a few hundred metres from where the vaccine was developed.
Meanwhile, Scientists are not fully confident that vaccines will work on a new variant of the coronavirus found in South Africa, ITV's political editor said on Monday, citing an unidentified scientific adviser to the British government. British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said earlier on Monday that he was incredibly worried about the new variant.