It’s “V-day” in UK as covid-19 vaccination programme gets under way
London, Dec. 8, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Today is “V-day ” in UK as the first people are expected to be vaccinated as rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccination begins in what is called “the beginning of the biggest vaccination campaign”
The UK will be the first country in the world to start using this vaccine after regulators approved its use last week.
About 70 hospital hubs in the UK are gearing up to vaccinate the over-80s and some health and care staff.
The government has secured 800,000 doses of this vaccine to start with, but orders have been placed for 40 million in total, enough for 20 million people as two courses are needed.
Inoculations are expected to begin early Tuesday (Today) at selected hospitals throughout Britain that have received the first batches of vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech, which need to be stored at very low temperatures.
But the temporary clinics that are being hurriedly put together are expected to play critical roles as the mass vaccination program expands.
Retired health workers are being asked to help, while the National Health Service is also recruiting tens of thousands of first aid workers and others to help administer the shot, as the vaccine becomes available to progressively more people
It marks the start of a mass programme aiming to protect the most vulnerable and return life to normal.
Vaccination will not be compulsory.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Today marks a huge step forward in the UK’s fight against coronavirus.”
But he added: “As the programme ramps up in the weeks and months ahead, it is as important as ever to keep to the Covid winter plan – following the rules in your area and remember the basics of hands, face and space.”
Ministers have warned it could be Easter by the time restrictions are lifted in a significant way.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there was now “light at the end of the tunnel”.
“We will look back on today, V-day, as a key moment in our fight back against this terrible disease,” he added.
Speaking just hours before the vaccine rollout begins, NHS England CEO Sir Simon Stevens said Tuesday marked “a decisive turning point in the battle” against the virus. BBC