British Health Service: Vaccination start on Tuesday

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After the first doses of vaccine have arrived in Great Britain, the British health service NHS (National Health Service) wants to start vaccination from Tuesday. NHS providers managing director Chris Hopson said today on BBC television. Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke of the largest mass vaccination in the history of Great Britain.

Already next week, 800,000 vaccine doses will be available. Millions more are to be added by the end of the year. According to a government spokesman, the majority of the 40 million vaccine doses ordered are expected to be available in the first half of 2021.

The first vaccinations will be administered to residents and employees of nursing homes as well as to over-80s and particularly vulnerable medical staff. Due to the complicated storage at minus 70 degrees Celsius, the vaccine will initially be administered only in 50 hospitals in the country. Additional centers are to be added later.

Approved on Wednesday
On Wednesday, the British Medicines Agency MHRA granted the Mainz-based pharmaceutical company Biontech and its US partner Pfizer emergency approval for their coronavirus vaccine. This makes the UK the first country ever to release the vaccine for broader use.

The British government had celebrated the rapid approval of the vaccine as a success. However, experts from the EU and the USA had also voiced criticism of the emergency approval.

US virologist Anthony Fauci rowed back, however, after he said in a US podcast that the British drug authority had “rushed” to approve the vaccine. He has great confidence in the scientific and regulatory processes in the UK, Fauci said most recently in a BBC interview.

hp, Source: ORF.at/agencies, picture: pixabay.com

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