LONDON (AP) – The British government on Saturday appointed a vaccine minister as millions of people prepare to be vaccinated against the corona virus.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said Conservative legislator Nadeem Zahavi will oversee the country’s largest vaccination program for decades.
The UK pharmaceutical regulator currently evaluates two vaccines – one developed by Pfizer and Bioendech, the other by the University of Oxford and Astrogeneca – to see if they are safe and effective. The Guardian newspaper told hospitals that the first dose of Pfizer shot could be received in the week of December 7, if approved.
The UK says leading health care workers and nursing home residents will be vaccinated first, followed by the elderly over the age of 80.
The UK has ordered the Pfizer / Bioentech vaccine to be 40 million doses, enough for 20 million people, and 100 million doses of the Oxford / Astrogenega vaccine.
In total, the UK government has agreed to buy 355 million doses of the vaccine from seven different manufacturers as it prepares to vaccinate as many as 67 million people in the country as possible.
If there are any approved vaccines, the regulatory agency will take independent medicines and health products.
Pfizer and Bioendech claim that their vaccine is 95% effective, according to preliminary data. It should be stored at an extreme cold temperature of minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 94 Fahrenheit).
The Oxford-Astrogeneca vaccine can be stored at conventional refrigerator temperatures and is cheaper than its main competitors. But some scientists have questioned the gaps in its report results.
Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine this week was 62% effective for those who received two doses and 90% effective for volunteers who were given half a dose. They said half the dose was being administered due to a production error, and are planning a new clinical trial to investigate the most effective dose method.
The British government hopes that the combination of vaccines and mass testing will end the need for controls in business and daily life to control the spread of the corona virus. Europe’s worst COVID-19 outbreak in Britain has confirmed more than 57,000 virus – related deaths.
The prime minister said this week that officials hope to vaccinate “the majority of people who need more protection because of the Easter holiday.” But “we have to go through the harsh winter first,” he warned.
The four-week national lockout in the UK is due to end on Wednesday, and will be replaced by a three-tier system of regional measures restricting business activity, travel and socialization. The majority of the country is placed in the top two tiers.
Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Saturday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck.
Several bottles and smoke bombs were hurled as anti-mask and anti-vaccine protesters clashed with authorities in the city’s West End shopping district. The Metropolitan Police said 155 people were arrested.
Johnson faces opposition to the actions of his own Conservative party legislators, claiming that the economic damage outweighs the public health benefits.
Burr cabinet minister Michael Cove said the restrictions were “tough” to avoid the health system being overcrowded this winter.
According to The Times of London, Cove currently has 16,000 corona virus patients in British hospitals, not below the April peak of 20,000. As infections increase, corona virus patients will be “displaced by everything except emergencies. Even then, ”he said.
“However, we can keep the level of infection stable in January and February or fall even better, and we can hope that vaccination will pull the plug on the problem,” Cove wrote.