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NHS workers are removed from vaccine priority list as Pfizer cuts shipments in half


Fears that the UK won't get as many doses as expected of Pfizer / BioNTech's approved coronavirus vaccine before the New Year may have led officials to put NHS frontline workers in line and become nursing home residents expected to receive their bumps within a few days.

Hope that an end to the pandemic was in sight was bolstered last night after the first batch of the award-winning sting arrived in the UK after No10 & # 39; top secret & # 39; Operation carried out to move hundreds of thousands of cans in a fleet of unmarked trucks on the Eurotunnel.

And ministers today insisted that millions of doses will arrive before the end of the year, despite Pfizer's announcement last night that it can only distribute half of the 100 million vaccines originally proposed for 2020 due to problems in the supply chain.

BioNTech's chief commercial officer said today that the UK – which has ordered 40 million cans and is hoping to get at least a quarter of its supply in time by January – can expect more deliveries next week. The UK's largest vaccination campaign starts on Tuesday December 8th.

However, questions are now being asked about how much of the vaccine will the UK actually receive by the end of the year. A senior NHS official warns that the first 800,000 doses promised next week "may be the only batch we've received in a while". . Economy Minister Alok Sharma admitted today that only "some" of the recordings are already in the UK.

It comes amid growing confusion over Downing Street's priority list. The logistical nightmare of tending to the residents who are supposed to be at the front of the queue meant that NHS staff inevitably messed up the pecking order.

However, it turns out that frontline NHS staff will no longer be a priority for the vaccine – studies have shown it to be 95 percent effective. Chris Hopson, executive director of NHS Providers, said initial care will continue to be directed to the elderly and nursing home workers.

Another hurdle to getting the vaccine into nursing homes was cleared last night after officials found a way to break up the Pfizer vaccine into small batches that were suitable for distribution. NHS chiefs admitted the pack splitting ban was the only thing stopping the bump from getting the bump into nursing homes.

The vaccine is currently supplied in packs of 975 to 4,875 doses, which must be used within six hours of shipping – even if kept refrigerated. Many nursing homes only have dozens of residents, which means that even the smallest package contains way too many doses and wastes hundreds of valuable puffs.

Subject to the MHRA stamp on split packs, health chiefs expect to be able to begin introducing them to nursing homes within a few days. The Scottish Health Minister confirmed yesterday that residents of nursing homes north of the border will receive vaccines from December 14th.

Dr. Chaand Nagpaul, the head of the British Medical Association, said he supported the plan for nursing home residents to get the stab first. However, this meant NHS workers would be at greater risk of getting infected and possibly dying, he said, adding that medical professionals "are likely to be frustrated when the inconsistent government news changes from yesterday to today" .

It comes after Donald Trump's best medic today apologized for his blistering and bitter attack on Britain for approving a coronavirus vaccine to treat millions of people worldwide as of Monday. Dr. Anthony Fauci stepped down in the diplomatic battle after accusing the UK Medicines Agency of failing to adequately review manufacturers' data.

The MHRA strongly denies any allegations that it compromised The decision was made by a number of bodies before being approved by Dr. June Raine – a career government scientist who has worked in drug regulatory affairs since 1985 – and a commission of state scientific advisors. Dr. Raine was hired today to speak on local radio stations to allay fears that the vaccine was being thrown through.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock poses past photographers while jogging Westminster in Westminster today

Health Secretary Matt Hancock poses past photographers while jogging Westminster in Westminster today

A truck left Pfizer's production facility in Puurs, Belgium yesterday (it is not clear whether this was carrying the Covid vaccine or whether it was going to the UK).

A truck left Pfizer's production facility in Puurs, Belgium yesterday (it is not clear whether this was carrying the Covid vaccine or whether it was going to the UK).

Now, Fauci, the top US doctor, says SORRY for accusing the UK of speeding up Pfizer vaccine approval

U.S. Covid Supremo Anthony Fauci, pictured with President Trump, has argued over the speed of the UK's decision to approve the Pfizer / BioNTech push, pointing out that they were cheating. He later apologized

U.S. Covid Supremo Anthony Fauci, pictured with President Trump, has argued over the speed of the UK's decision to approve the Pfizer / BioNTech push, pointing out that they were cheating. He later apologized

Donald Trump's top medical doctor Dr. Anthony Fauci today apologized for his blistering and bitter attack on Britain, which received the world's first approval of a coronavirus vaccine to treat millions of people as of Monday.

Dr. Fauci has pulled out of the diplomatic battle after accusing the UK Medicines Agency of failing to adequately review manufacturers' data before becoming the first country to clear the Pfizer / BioNTech sting for widespread use.

His humiliating apology came just hours after Joe Biden asked him to be his chief medical adviser – some suggested the next U.S. president may have intervened.

Dr. Fauci, who is also under pressure from the Trump administration to explain why the US was beaten by the UK to approve an American-made vaccine, compared the London Medicines and Health Products Regulator (MHRA) to a marathon runner cheating, by doing the last mile & # 39 ;.

And he raised safety questions about the speed with which the MHRA approved the treatment, telling CBS News, "I love the British, they're great, they're good scientists, but they just took data from Pfizer and Company instead of really, really carefully questioning it, they said, "OK, let's approve, this is it."

But after a flurry of anger from the UK, where critics accused him of supporting anti-Vaxxer, Mr Fauci later clarified his remarks, saying, “I did not mean to imply sloppiness on the part of UK regulators, even though this came out in this way, I apologize me, adding that there was no judgment on how Britain did it. It came out wrong. I have great faith in the UK science and regulatory community. "

His humiliating apology came just hours after Joe Biden asked him to be his chief medical adviser – some suggested the next U.S. president may have intervened.

Dr. Fauci, who is also under pressure from the Trump administration to explain why the US was beaten by the UK to approve an American-made vaccine, compared the London Medicines and Health Products Regulator (MHRA) to a marathon runner cheating, by doing the last mile & # 39 ;.

And he raised safety questions about the speed with which the MHRA approved the treatment, telling CBS News, "I love the British, they're great, they're good scientists, but they just took data from Pfizer and Company instead of really, really carefully questioning it, they said, "OK, let's approve, this is it."

But after a flurry of anger from the UK, where critics accused him of supporting anti-Vaxxer, Mr Fauci later clarified his remarks, saying, “I did not mean to imply sloppiness on the part of UK regulators, even though this came out in this way, I apologize me, adding that there was no judgment on how Britain did it.

Dr. Fauci added, “It came out wrong. I have great faith in the UK science and regulatory community. & # 39;

He blamed the US delay for "too much skepticism" about the vaccine approval process in his country – making it slower – but added that it was "no better or worse" than the UK process.

He said, “Ultimately it will be safe and effective, the people of Britain will receive it and do it and do it well. And the people of the US are going to get it and do it well. & # 39;

The EU and US have argued after news that the UK will begin rolling out the US / German drug to millions of vulnerable people next week. The first deliveries arrived yesterday evening.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson mocked her when he insisted that Britain beat her to introduce a coronavirus vaccine because it was simply "a much better country".

Dr. June Raine, head of the UK Medicines Agency, said the vaccine review "didn't cut corners".

In other coronavirus developments in the UK today:

  • Ministers have been accused of having released their "friends" from quarantine after "high quality" business travelers were given an exception to the self-isolation rules.
  • Fears that the NHS will be overwhelmed this winter are decreasing. Official figures show that the country is practically flu virus free.
  • Boris Johnson urged couples to book weddings with confidence for next summer thanks to new coronavirus vaccines and tests – but refused to say if he would be among them;
  • Rapid coronavirus tests run by the government are "unsafe" as the tests miss and let go of about half of infected people, scientists warned.
  • Pub bosses have called for £ 1.8 billion in covid refund money to be turned over from supermarkets to their ruined industries.
Economy Minister Alok Sharma admitted today that only "some" of the 800,000 recordings are already in the UK

Economy Minister Alok Sharma admitted today that only "some" of the 800,000 recordings are already in the UK

Britain plans to begin its largest vaccination campaign in history next week. The first 800,000 shots will be fired in specially equipped laboratories to verify their safe use before arriving at NHS hospitals and makeshift centers.

In preparation for the nationwide mammoth operation, the army and NHS have already run the campaign dry.

Exercise Panacea took place in a Bristol football stadium and 30 employees and volunteers tested on the street how to supply the majority of the population at regional hubs with the coronavirus bite.

Speaking about the roll-out next week, Hopson said it was going to be "a marathon, it's not a sprint" and told BBC Breakfast, "We look forward to the race on Tuesday."

Five hour queues of trucks waiting to board the Eurotunnel today were pictured on the motorway to the port near Calais, France as a convoy attempted to transport the vaccine to the UK. It is not yet known whether the vaccine shipments have got stuck in traffic

Five hour queues of trucks waiting to board the Eurotunnel today were pictured on the motorway to the port near Calais, France as a convoy attempted to transport the vaccine to the UK. It is not yet known whether the vaccine shipments have got stuck in traffic

Why is the Pfizer vaccine so difficult to transport?

The Pfizer / BioNTech coronavirus vaccine approval on Wednesday was celebrated as the light at the end of the lockdown tunnel that was finally able to restore the UK to pre-pandemic normalcy.

But the breakthrough, which has been shown to be 95 percent effective at blocking Covid-19 infection, has raised a number of logistical hurdles that make it difficult to get the vaccine to those who need it most, including nursing homes .

The problems arise from the fact that the vaccine is made from volatile genetic material known as mRNA, which is constantly under threat from destruction by other molecules in the environment.

BioNTech packages the vaccine in dry ice-filled batches of 975 vials, each containing five doses, which must be stored at -70 ° C to prevent the mRNA from being destroyed during shipping or storage.

Messenger RNA is used by human cells to carry messages and give instructions. Pfizer's push instructs the body to produce the coronavirus' unique spike protein and train the immune system to detect and fight off future infections.

However, due to the naturally rapid reversal of the lifespan of mRNA, it is inherently a short-lived molecule that is only supposed to exist for a few hours.

This presents a significant problem when attempting to get the mRNA vaccine into a human because under normal conditions it breaks down and becomes unusable.

There aren't many proven ways to ensure the vaccine's long-term survival. A tried and tested method is extremely cold temperatures that stop all movements and reactions and prevent any form of decomposition of the mRNA. However, the vaccine must be given at room temperature because the mRNA must be mobile.

He added that hospitals are figuring out how many nursing home residents, nursing home staff, and those over 80 they can reach.

The Health Service Journal reports that some NHS workers will be vaccinated next week. Hospital trusts that have replacement doses can distribute them to frontline doctors.

However, the specialist magazine assumes that the number of employees will be "strictly limited". Those over 80 who are already in the hospital are likely to come first, and the majority of NHS staff will have to wait until the new year.

Hopson went on to outline the vaccine roll out plan, saying, "We are working in hospitals to determine how many people over 80 we have who are either currently being treated in the hospital or who are coming on outpatient appointments."

He added that because of the government's ban on splitting packs, it is "more complex" to care for residents of nursing homes that are not routinely approved for safety reasons.

The main problem depends on the way Pfizer's vaccine is delivered – in large freezer compartments that can hold up to 5,000 doses at the required temperature. Each container holds trays about the size of a pizza box containing 975 cans.

When the MHRA granted approval to use the vaccine, it was stipulated that each box could only be moved and opened a limited number of times before the vaccines were used.

Until a detailed distribution plan has been established, the trays should not be split until the vaccines are ready for use, making transportation to nursing homes virtually impossible.

This meant the starting doses likely had to be dispensed in one of the 50 major hospitals across England, and previous plans to have nursing home residents the first to receive the sting had to be put on hold.

Health officials have now developed a new way to ensure that the most vulnerable can be reached by allowing the packs to be split. Subject to approval by the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA), officials expect them to be introduced into nursing homes within a few days, and no later than Christmas.

Mr. Hopson explained the problem of getting the vaccine into nursing homes: “So you'd have to break these 975 pizza boxes into smaller batches, and then the good news is if we can do what we think we can do very quickly, if we can then ask family doctors to give the vaccine to the residents of nursing homes.

“So hospitals are training today, yesterday, the day before yesterday, and tomorrow exactly how many of these nursing home workers, nursing home residents, and 80+ year olds can manage them. They'll tell NHS England and Improvement what those numbers are, and then the vaccines will be allocated as appropriate how many people they can get through. & # 39;

The sting contains a fragile strand of RNA – the genetic material that carries messages between cells – encased in a droplet of fat.

How Britain won the vaccination race

The MHRA's decision was made in a number of bodies before it was followed by Dr. June Raine, a government government scientist who has worked in drug approval since 1985

The MHRA's decision was made in a number of bodies before it was followed by Dr. June Raine, a government government scientist who has worked in drug approval since 1985

The UK was able to convince the US and Europe to approve Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine first, thanks to political issues on the continent and because UK regulators had a larger scientific workforce, experts claim.

The breakthrough was given the green light by the UK Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) within just 10 days of receiving the results from the late-stage studies.

The MHRA's decision was made by a number of bodies before it was followed by Dr. June Raine, a government government scientist who has worked in drug approval since 1985.

America's top coronavirus doctor has criticized the UK for this, claiming that the MHRA "just took the data from the Pfizer company and instead of really, really carefully examining it, they said," OK, let's approve it, that's it . "

The EU states have agreed not to use the handling permits used by the UK to bypass Brussels and to give the Pfizer vaccine the green light. Instead, they are waiting for the EU regulator EMA to issue a stricter permit that is valid for a year.

All three agencies have carried out ongoing reviews of the data provided by Pfizer. The reviews began at the same time, but some scholars claim the UK was more "organized" and proactive in seeking additional data from Pfizer.

That makes it very unstable and means it has to be stored at -70 ° C to make sure it doesn't break down before it gets to patients. It can be stored in a regular refrigerator for up to five days – but must be used within six hours of transport, even if stored between 2 and 8 ° C.

After it was announced yesterday evening that Pfizer and its partner BioNTech can only ship half as many doses of its coronavirus vaccine as it had promised by the end of the year, the planned global launch was reduced from 100 million to 50 million doses.

Companies have had to roll back their plans due to the slowdown in their supply chain, sources told the Wall Street Journal.

"The scaling of the raw material supply chain took longer than expected," said a company spokeswoman.

"And it's important to point out that the outcome of the clinical study was a little later than the original projection."

Mr Sharma reiterated that the "bulk" of the vaccine launch will take place in 2021, with the Oxford / AstraZeneca version likely to significantly increase supply. Officials say it could be approved before Christmas.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today program: “We'll expect more (Pfizer vaccine) by the end of the year, but we've always said that most of the vaccination program will be next year.

& # 39; We obviously have the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine we're talking about for use, but AstraZeneca is also being reviewed by the MHRA.

"We'll see what they pronounce and then of course we ordered 100 million of them and a lot of it is made in the UK – and the filling and the finish."

In other turns in the UK's introduction of vaccines, government sources claimed last night that No10's operation to bring the vaccine to the UK was deliberately kept secret over fears that criminal gangs might "intercept and damage" the supplies.

Questions have been raised as to whether or not the shock had reached British soil after images of trucks stuck in traffic for several hours outside the busy port of Calais.

Health Department officials confirmed the vaccine had reached Folkestone last night – but refused to reveal any further details.

No. 10 would not be pressed on details of the transport of the vaccine for "safety reasons".

Interpol yesterday warned of criminal gangs selling black market thrusts while ministers have already put pressure on social media giants Facebook and Instagram to crack down on false anti-Vaxx theories that officials have labeled "nonsense".

Black Panther Star struck for posting anti-Vax videos online

Black Panther star Letitia Wright was mercilessly crucified on Twitter Thursday night after posting a fact-free YouTube video questioning the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Black Panther star Letitia Wright was mercilessly crucified on Twitter Thursday night after posting a fact-free YouTube video questioning the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Black Panther star Letitia Wright was beaten up by her Marvel co-star Don Cheadle Thursday night after she posted a YouTube video questioning the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The British actress posted the link to a video by British Youtuber Tomi Arayomi entitled "COVID-19 VACCINE, SHOULD WE TAKE IT?" along with a prayer hand emoji on late Thursday evening.

Her post immediately sparked a violent backlash, with many asking Marvel colleague Don Cheadle to call Wright, 27, about posting the misleading video.

In response, the actor called the video Wright shared "hot junk" and what it said was "F **** d up".

It comes after Black Panther star Letitia Wright was beaten up by her Marvel co-star Don Cheadle last night after she posted a YouTube video questioning the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The British actress posted the link to a video by British Youtuber Tomi Arayomi entitled "COVID-19 VACCINE, SHOULD WE TAKE IT?" along with a prayer hand emoji on late Thursday evening.

Her post immediately sparked a violent backlash, with many asking Marvel colleague Don Cheadle to call Wright, 27, about posting the misleading video.

In response, the actor called the video Wright shared "hot junk" and what it said was "F **** d up".

After a growing backlash, Wright said it was not her intention to upset anyone and she didn't say "don't take the vaccine" but added, "I'm just worried about what this is all about." Isn't that fair to question or ask? "

The video she shared is from On The Table – a YouTube channel presented by Tomi Arayomi. He says he spent his entire life in the UK with his mother as a dentist and father as a doctor.

Arayomi describes himself as a recognized prophet and chief executive of Prophetic Voice TV. An online mission aimed at restoring the ability to hear the voice of God for everyone in every sphere of influence. "

He heads an organization called "RIGnation," which says it is "a global movement focused on training prophets into people and people into prophets."

"Our goal is to raise 7,000 apostles and prophets from around the world who are ready to change the world!"

The description of the video states, "Tonight, I'm talking about luciferase, the ingredient that was supposedly added to the COVID vaccine to help identify those who haven't ingested it." Luciferase, named after Lucifer by its founder ??? This is only partially true of fact-checking, but we're investigating this and more. & # 39;

Luciferase is an enzyme that was developed for use in vaccines in developing countries to help determine who has already been vaccinated.

It is bioluminescent and only visible under a certain wavelength of light, hence the name. Lucifer is also Greek for light bringer.

Luciferase is not used in vaccines used in the US, UK, Europe and countries with developed health systems.

How long will it take for the UK to get their hands on the Oxford Covid vaccine?

The UK could start using Oxford University's coronavirus before Christmas if approved by drug regulators in a decision that could be made next week.

The MHRA became the first agency in the world this week to clear a Covid-19 vaccine for public use when it approved a vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech.

The sting developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca following instructions from the Ministry of Health on November 27 is currently being evaluated. Scientists behind the sting have already submitted the final test results to a medical journal that is expected to be published shortly.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, assistant chief physician for England, said the batch – of which No. 10 has ordered 100 million cans – will "hopefully be approved before Christmas".

It took regulators eight working days to approve Pfizer's vaccine after the Department of Health officially requested to evaluate it. If AstraZenecas can be carried out in the same period, a decision could be announced as early as Tuesday next week, December 8th.

The push is likely to be operational within a few days when it is finally approved. It is made in England and is easy to transport as it can be stored in regular refrigerators or even at room temperature.

The other of the three promising vaccines from the US company Moderna is a step back in the approval process, but will not be available in the UK until March 2021 at the earliest.

Ministers sought to buy seven million doses of the vaccine from Moderna after the company announced that clinical studies showed 94.5 percent effectiveness.

The MHRA – Regulatory Authority for Medicines and Health Products – has not yet been officially mandated to start the assessment.

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