Britain has taken another step in the fight against COVID-19, administering the world’s first shots of the vaccine created by Oxford University and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca.
Dialysis patient Brian Pinker was the first to get the new vaccine shot by the chief nurse at Oxford University Hospital.
Mr Pinker said he was pleased and could “now really look forward to celebrating my 48th wedding anniversary with my wife Shirley later this year.”
Britain’s National Health Service has been delivering shots to health care workers and nursing home residents and staff since December 8 of a vaccine made by Pfizer and the German firm BioNTech.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine boosts that effort, but is also cheaper and easier to use since it does not require the super cold storage needed by the Pfizer vaccine.
In a shift from practices in the US and elsewhere, Britain plans to give people second doses of both vaccines within 12 weeks of the first shot rather than within 21 days, to accelerate immunisations across as many people as possible.
The government’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, said that decision was “the right thing to do for the nation as a whole.”
More to come.