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Published On: Thu, Dec 10th, 2020

UK begins administering first COVID-19 vaccine -CFR

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From Uche Uche, Damaturu

The United Kingdom on December 8, 2020, started vaccinating its citizens for Covid-19, becoming one of the first countries to take on the logistical challenges of distributing a new vaccine amidst a deadly pandemic.
According to the daily news brief by the council on foreign affairs of December 8, 2020, United Kingdom has become the first nation to provide a clinically authorized, fully tested Covid-19 vaccine which was developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.
China and Russia started inoculating people with domestically produced vaccines before final trials were completed, while regulators in the United States and the European Union could decide whether to approve a vaccine in the coming days or weeks.
In the UK, eight hundred thousand doses are expected to be available in the first week and up to four million available (Reuters) by the end of the month. People over eighty years old, care-home workers and residents, and some health-care workers will receive the shot first.
With hundreds of daily fatalities from the virus in the UK, health officials urged people to continue adhering to government restrictions and guidelines over the next few months.
Despite the hope that this development inspires on people in UK, analysts are worried about the challenges in getting the vaccine across to the public and still harps on following government restrictions and guidelines
“Make no mistake, this is going to be a challenging roll-out,” Shore Capital’s Adam Barker and Tara Raveendran tell CNBC. “Although the [UK’s National Health Service] is well versed in delivering vaccines, around 15 million flu vaccines per year as an example, the Pfizer and BioNTech candidate has well flagged characteristics that make it more difficult to deliver.”
“The risk of outbreaks will continue long after the first generation of vaccines is rolled out. Social-distancing measures, border controls, and other public health interventions will therefore have to remain in place for many months to come,” Josh Michaud and Jen Kates write in Foreign Affairs.

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