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Margaret Keenan becomes the first non-trial recipient of COVID-19 vaccine as the UK starts mass vaccination

The United Kingdom has become the first country to launch a vaccination program against Covid-19 infection. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine candidate had received approval from the UK government after positive results in the trials.

A 90-year-old woman from the UK named Margaret Keenan has become the first recipient in the world to get a shot of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday. The NHS has launched the biggest ever vaccine campaign to fight the pandemic. Keenan said, “I feel so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against Covid-19, it’s the best early birthday present I could wish for because it means I can finally look forward to spending time with my family and friends in the New Year after being on my own for most of the year.”

Keenan is from from Enniskillen, Northern Ireland in The UK.

UK becomes the first country to launch Covid-19 vaccine program

The United Kingdom has become the first country to launch a vaccination program against Covid-19 infection. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine candidate had received approval from the UK government after positive results in the trials. The vaccine has shown 95% effectiveness against the infection, and it can be administered to all age groups.

80+ age group and health care workers to get the vaccine first

As per the plan, those who are above 80 years of age will get the vaccine first, along with care home staff and health workers. Eventually, the UK government is planning to vaccinate millions of people in the coming months against Covid-19. Everyone has to get two shots of the vaccine with a gap of 21 days. As of now, 800,000 doses of the vaccine have been delivered to the hospitals, which will be enough to serve 400,000 people. The UK has already secured 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which will be enough for 20 million people.

Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, said that he felt emotional after seeing the photographs of Keenan getting the vaccine. He said, “It’s been such a tough year for so many people but finally we have our way through it, the light at the end of the tunnel. It seems so simple having a jab in your arm but that will protect Margaret and the people around her. If we manage to do that for everyone who is vulnerable to this disease we can move on and return to normal.”

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, while praising those who were involved in delivering the new vaccine program, said, “Less than a year after the first case of this new disease was diagnosed, the NHS has now delivered the first clinically approved Covid-19 vaccination – that is a remarkable achievement.” He thanked the scientists, workers, and volunteers for achieving the task of developing the vaccine in months, which normally takes years.

How Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine will be rolled out in the UK?

The first set of the vaccine has been marked for those who are residents in care homes for older adults and their carers. The second step will be to immunize all those who are above 80-years. In the third step, everyone about 75 years of age will get the vaccine, followed by those who are clinically extremely vulnerable and above 70 years of age. The vaccine will then be made available for people of 65-years and above, followed by everyone from the age group 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions that put them at risk of getting the infection. After that, the vaccine will be rolled out step-by-step for the remaining population in the UK.

When is India rolling out its vaccination plan

India is expected to roll out a vaccination program in the next few weeks. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keeping a close eye on the progress of the development of vaccines. On December 4, in an all-party meeting, it was decided that elders and frontline health workers will be in the front of the queue to get the vaccine. Prime Minister Modi also clarified that the healthcare, frontline workers and elderly person suffering from serious diseases will be given priority in vaccination.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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