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article imageUK's initial vaccine rollout will only cover 400,000 people

By Karen Graham     Dec 5, 2020 in Health
London - The UK received its first shipment of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine Thursday night and are now prepared to begin vaccinations on Tuesday - with one little change. Many doctors and nurses have been excluded from the first round of injections.03
The excitement on receiving the first shipment of the vaccine that came by truck, packed in dry ice, from Belgium via the Eurotunnel was tempered by disappointment on Friday when it was learned that many doctors and nurses who had already made appointments to get the first dose of the vaccine were excluded due to a last-minute change in the protocols, reports the Washington Post.
The 800,000 doses of vaccine are being shared across the four nations that make up the United Kingdom. Scotland has already said it is receiving 65,000 doses, with Northern Ireland getting 25,000 doses. Wales will start vaccinating people on Tuesday, according to the BBC.
Health authorities fear the 800,000 doses of the vaccine could run out just in covering people living in nursing homes and their caregivers—groups already given top priority. And this shipment "could be the only batch we receive for some time," said an official of a National Health Service organization.
The first group to receive the vaccine will be those individuals over the age of 80 living in care homes, as well as their healthcare providers. And even then, demand is expected to outstrip supply, Broadly, vaccines will be given to the most vulnerable first, as set out in a list of high-priority groups from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation starting early next week.
Britain is training healtcare workers to administer the Covid-19 vaccine after it become the first c...
Britain is training healtcare workers to administer the Covid-19 vaccine after it become the first country to approve one for public use
Steve Parsons, POOL/AFP
The rest of the population, meaning everyone else under the age of 50, will start receiving vaccinations later in 2021. But as the UK begins rolling out its vaccinations for the coronavirus, the rest of the world will be watching closely, especially the U.S. and Canada.
The chief operations officer for Operation Warp Speed, Army Gen. Gustave Perna, told reporters this week the federal government plans to distribute 6.4 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine to states within 24 hours after an expected emergency-use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration.
The big problem facing the distribution of the vaccine in the U.S. is something the UK has been made aware of: RNA vaccines need to be stored and shipped at temperatures of minus 75 degrees Celsius, and so they require special handling. Secondly, the vaccines come in trays of 975 doses and should not be split apart.
The initial 800,000 doses promised from Pfizer won’t go far to cover the 3.2 million Brits age 80 and above and the at least 300,000 caregivers working in nursing homes. These people are slated to get the vaccine first, followed by more than 1.4 million NHS workers.
More about United Kingdom, Pfizer vaccine, highprioeiry groups, Caregivers, coronavirus
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