A 90-year-old grandmother from Coventry became the first person in the world to receive an approved coronavirus vaccine today as the country took a giant leap to end the hated pandemic on "V-Day".
The NHS launched the largest vaccination campaign in UK history this morning across 50 hospital locations, delivering Britain's new weapon in the war on Covid-19 to hospital and nursing home workers over 80, at risk, and frontline workers.
Margaret Keenan, who will turn 91 next week, was the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer push since it was approved by UK regulators. She called it "the best early birthday present I could ask for".
Ms. Keenan, known to friends and family as "Maggie", wore a bright blue "Merry Christmas" T-shirt and smiled under her mask as Nurse May Parsons of Coventry & Warwickshire University Hospital injected life-saving medicine into her.
Ms. Keenan, who will turn 91 next week, is a former jeweler who only retired four years ago. She has a daughter, a son and four grandchildren.
Ms. Keenan said, “I feel so privileged to be the first person to be vaccinated against Covid-19. It's the best early birthday gift I could ever wish for because I can finally look forward to spending time with my family and friends in the New Year after being alone for most of the year. I can't thank May and the NHS staff enough for looking after me tremendously and my advice to anyone who has offered the vaccine is to take it – if I can have it by 90, you can have it too . & # 39;
In a global first move that NHS leaders hope will be the "first step back to normal", today thousands of Britons will roll up their sleeves and take a shot of the new Pfizer bump that comes in 95 Percent is effective.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted this morning, “It's V-Day. Thank you to everyone who made this possible, from clinicians, NHS administrators, doctors, nurses, everyone who volunteered for the studies, and everyone who got the stab today. Let's do it! & # 39;
Today begins "the largest vaccine campaign in the history of Great Britain":
- Britain has received 800,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine so far – enough for 400,000 people;
- Four million more doses of the Covid-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in the UK before the end of December.
- The UK recorded 189 Covid-19 deaths and 14,178 new cases yesterday – a 19.4% increase from last Monday;
Margaret Keenan, 90, is the first patient in the UK to receive the Pfizer / BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine administered by Nurse May Parsons at the University Hospital in Coventry at the start of the largest vaccination program in UK history
Matt Hancock tweeted this morning: & # 39; It's V-Day. Thank you to everyone who made this possible, from clinicians, NHS administrators, doctors, nurses, everyone who volunteered for the studies, and everyone who got the stab today. Let's do it! & # 39;
WHO WILL GET THE PFIZER JAB TODAY?
- Nursing home staff
- Health workers delivering the shock
- People aged 80 and over – with inpatients and patients coming for treatment – have priority
- NHS workers most at risk from the virus will take any remaining doses at the end of the day
One of the first to take the coronavirus vaccine will be 87-year-old Hari Shukla – a retired teacher with a plaque entitled "Local Boy" in his name and an OBE for his work on racial relations in his hometown of Newcastle.
Dr. Shukla and his wife Ranjan, 83, both receive the Pfizer push at the Royal Infirmary in Newcastle. Uganda-born Dr. Shukla said, “I am so pleased that we will hopefully come towards the end of this pandemic and I am excited to be doing my part with the vaccine. I feel it is my duty to do so and do everything possible to help. "
"After contacting the NHS staff, I know how hard they all work and I am grateful for all they have done to keep us safe during the pandemic."
After moving to town in 1974, Mr Shukla has spent much of his life promoting racial relations both as a volunteer and professionally.
He became director of the Tyne and Wear Racial Equality Council and worked tirelessly for three decades to reduce community tensions.
The UK is the European country hardest hit by the pandemic, with over 61,000 deaths from COVID-19. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, however, is hoping to turn the tide on the disease by launching the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine before the US or the European Union.
"It's a great relief because it's not an ordinary crisis," said Dr. Shukla.
About 800,000 doses are expected to be available in the first week, with nursing home residents and carers, the over 80s and some health care workers being the top priority to get the shots.
Dr. Shukla (87) (right) and his wife Ranjan (83) (left) both receive the Pfizer push at the Royal Infirmary in Newcastle
The UK daily Covid cases could slowly re-emerge, as official statistics suggested today, after health chiefs recorded another 14,718 infections – but deaths continue to decline
How people can "mix and match" Covid vaccines: British scientists will try to give people different types of shocks to boost different parts of their immune systems
Britons could combine coronavirus vaccines to stimulate different parts of their immune systems.
Scientists with the country's Vaccine Taskforce said yesterday they would try giving people one dose of one type of jolt and then a booster of another type.
All vaccines that are close to approval in the UK or already beyond the line require two doses each to be most effective at preventing Covid-19.
However, because they work in different ways, ingesting doses of different shocks can "maximize" the immune response and provide better, longer-lasting protection.
UK Vaccine Task Force leader Kate Bingham said researchers in the UK would begin trials of this method, known as "heterologous prime boost", over the next year.
The UK will today become the first country in the world to begin vaccinating the public against Covid-19 with a push from Pfizer and BioNTech approved by MHRA regulators after clinical studies suggested effectiveness of up to 95 percent .
Two other vaccines – from Oxford University and AstraZeneca, and the US pharmaceutical company Moderna – have also been successfully clinically tested. Oxfords is expected to be released by the NHS before the end of the year.
Ms. Bingham and colleagues from the UK Vaccine Taskforce announced their plans for the mix-and-match process in a briefing on Monday.
They said the idea was "not rocket science" and it was a long-standing theory that vaccines would work better that way, but it hadn't been tried in the real world.
Small studies could be organized that only last about two months, with people only receiving vaccines that have been shown to be safe and effective.
Only government-approved vaccines could be used, said task force vice chairman, drug research expert Dr. Clive Dix.
The thinking behind this is that different vaccines provoke different parts of the immune system – the main substances are antibodies and T cells.
Ms. Bingham said: “You would prime one vaccine, like your first stitch with one vaccine format, and then the second – whether it be 28 days or two months, or whatever the stipulated period would be with another Vaccine.
The reason for this is, for example, that virus-based vaccines trigger a much larger cellular response than, for example, mRNA.
'Antibodies block virus from being taken up into cells, and the T cells identify the infected cells and then remove them. So ideally you want to have both.
"The idea of mixing and combining is so that you can maximize the strength of this immune response to protect people from viral infections."
The mass vaccination program could fuel optimism that the world could turn a corner in the fight against the pandemic that has hit the global economy and killed more than 1.5 million people.
Dr. Shukla paid tribute to those who worked day and night to produce the shot and roll it out at unprecedented speed.
He said, “We are very grateful to you and proud of you for doing this.
“I'm not nervous or anything. I look forward to it. & # 39;
The current executive director of NHS England, Sir Simon Stevens, announced the introduction of the vaccine as a "turning point" in the fight against the pandemic.
He said the vaccine would protect the most vulnerable in society and pave the way for some restrictions to be relaxed by spring.
Hospital centers across the country now have stocks of Pfizer vaccines and will begin vaccinating over 80s, nursing home and health workers in the first wave of the program.
The main focus will be on people over 80 who have either been invited to the vaccine during an outpatient appointment or are inpatients in the hospital.
Nursing home staff are also invited into the first tranche of vaccines, with vacant appointments being made by NHS staff to ensure doses are not wasted.
Sir Simon writes in the mail that the NHS staff worked around the clock to cope with the enormous logistical challenge of using the Pfizer vaccine.
Urging readers to "play their part" and pick up the sting when offered, he said, "We can trust that we now have the tools to fight back this terrible virus."
He warned, however, that it will "take a few months to reach all those at risk" and urged the public to continue to take great care of themselves, their loved ones and the NHS.
His comments come as the Prime Minister said the UK is taking "a big step forward" in the fight against coronavirus.
Boris Johnson said he was "immensely proud" of the scientists who developed the vaccine, which was 95 percent effective in all age groups.
Sir Simon said delivery of the vaccine presents "complex logistical challenges" as it must be held at -70 ° C (-94 ° F) until needed and only moved a limited number of times.
But confident that the first doses will reach those most in need, he says months of careful planning have gone into this day.
To date, around 800,000 cans of the sting have been shipped to the UK, enough for 400,000 people.
Hospitals have been told that they are expected to do at least one box of vaccine (975 doses) in the first week.
After the first dose, patients will be given a vaccination card with the date of their crucial second dose, which must be given 21 days later for the vaccine to be fully effective.
Family doctors and other primary care staff were on standby to start delivering the sting next week.
Around 280 GP vaccine hubs are expected to begin administering the jab as of Monday. More practices will be added across the country in December.
They have been advised that they must use the vaccine within three and a half days, rather than the five days previously suggested, in order to comply with legal requirements set by MHRA, the UK medicines agency.
Mass vaccination centers on sports fields and conference centers are not expected to open until the New Year, when regulators have given the alternative Oxford / AstraZeneca push.
The UK is the European country hardest hit by the pandemic, with over 61,000 deaths from COVID-19. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, however, hopes to turn the tide on the disease by introducing Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine before the US or the European Union (file photo)
A graphic shows how the Pfizer push works by penetrating the patient's cells and causing the immune system to produce antibodies and activate T cells ready to destroy those infected with coronavirus
A graphic shows the order of priority in which the vaccine is introduced, starting with residents in nursing homes
Sir Simon Stevens, CEO of NHS England, said the launch of the first coronavirus vaccine – dubbed "V-Day" – was a "milestone for the country and an important day for the NHS".
Fears over new Covid ID cards British people will receive after vaccination
Every Briton will be given a Covid-19 vaccination card stating that they received the sting and asked to keep it with them at all times. Tory MPs are blaming him today Government of getting an immunity pass through stealth.
State Department Secretary James Cleverly said millions of people in the UK will "unlock" their lives by having the coronavirus stabbed with a card to prove it.
When asked if the cards were passes with a different name, Mr Cleverly repeatedly evaded the question, but told Sky News that he hoped they weren't used as a "ticket" for entry to pubs, restaurants or Sports events would be needed. He added, "Ultimately, it's about opening up people's lives and the economy."
MailOnline asked NHS England, which is managing the vaccine rollout, if it is mandatory to wear the card. You still have to answer.
Critics said vaccination card evidence is easy to forge. One said, “No photo, no details. What could possibly go wrong? & # 39 ;. Another tweeted, “It doesn't take long for you to be ready to shop on the internet for self-completion. In the truest sense of the word just a cardboard card, no security or anything! & # 39;
Former Tory Secretary David Jones believes the government needs to make it clear that UK cards cannot be used to prevent people from living their lives – and if necessary, Boris Johnson should legislate to to ensure this. He told MailOnline: 'It should be a completely free choice (to carry a card). I think people should be vaccinated, but I don't think they should be influenced by whether they can go to a restaurant or a theater. That is the danger of such things. You can tell people you can't come in if you don't show your card. I don't think that's right. & # 39;
One way to legislate would be to make it illegal to discriminate against someone because of their vaccination. Or ministers could clarify in the existing coronavirus regulations that companies do not have the right to see the cards as they are medical records.
Critics fear the cards represent a major step towards the immunity passport, which the government has vehemently rejected. Questions about the need for the Covid-19 card also remain unanswered if, for example, it is not part of the standard flu vaccination.
Hospitals have now cared for more than 190,000 seriously ill Covid 19 patients and, according to Sir Simon, have filled beds again in recent weeks.
Another 14,718 people tested positive for coronavirus, and another 189 deaths were reported yesterday.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the country could finally "collectively breathe a sigh of relief" if vaccinations begin today.
He said, “We will look back to today – V Day – as a key moment in our fight against this terrible disease, and I am proud that our health services are … on the verge of embarking on our largest vaccination program yet to take.
"Now is the time to sit tight and be patient until the NHS notifies you that it is time for your vaccination."
The UK became the first country in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine last week after regulators gave Pfizer / BioNTech the go-ahead. Rigorous scientific studies have shown that it is 95 percent effective, works in the elderly, and is safe.
No10 has ordered 40 million cans of the jab which will arrive in batches and will be distributed equally across the UK.
No other vaccines need to be approved yet – but officials hope the Oxford University sting will be stamped before Christmas.
Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething confirmed yesterday that all seven health authorities in Wales will start vaccinating people from tomorrow morning.
He said at a press conference in Cardiff that the first vaccines were "ready for use" and would be available to nearly 19,000 over-80s, nursing home workers and NHS workers.
But nursing home residents won't be able to get the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine in Wales just yet, despite being at the top of the line for "practical delivery arrangements," Gething said.
Scotland received an initial batch of 65,000 cans ahead of tomorrow's roll-out, while Northern Ireland has around 25,000 shots for the first part of the mammoth operation.
The logistics for storing and shipping the complex Pfizer vaccine had delayed plans to make nursing home residents the first to receive the bumps.
The vaccine is currently supplied in packs of 975 to 4,875 doses that must be used within six hours of shipping – even if they are kept refrigerated in special cooling bags.
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.
This unpacking process, performed by licensed private contractors working for the NHS, must be approved by the MHRA. However, according to sources, the problem is expected to be fixed shortly.
The problem can become redundant once the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine – which does not require the same supercooler storage – is approved.
Downing St's top advisors believe Oxford University / AstraZeneca University's Covid-19 vaccine, from which Britain has ordered 100 million doses, will be approved before Christmas.
The bump – which studies show is 60 percent effective – is much easier to transport as it can be stored in regular refrigerators or even at room temperature.
It took MHRA eight working days to approve Pfizer's vaccine after the Department of Health officially asked to evaluate it.
If AstraZenecas can be done within the same timeframe, a decision could be announced as early as today.
The Pfizer Vaccine: Questions and Answers
Is the vaccine definitely safe?
Yes. The vaccine was developed quickly, but it went through the same rigorous testing process as any other medicine before it was approved by regulators.
The Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) has stressed that no phase has been skipped, just accelerated because it is an emergency.
After the Ebola crisis, emergency funding mechanisms were put in place to quickly allocate money.
And new technologies – especially the mRNA process, which was previously only used in cancer treatments – have also accelerated the process.
Were the attempts big enough?
The Pfizer vaccine was tested on 43,500 people from different backgrounds in six countries. This is a large sample to base safety data on and no concerns have been raised. While the UK regulator was the first to approve this, it is expected that European and American guard dogs will follow suit very soon and give the green light.
What is an MRNA vaccine and can it affect the genetic code?
Injecting mRNA has nothing to do with the DNA of a human cell. The mRNA carries the genetic information of the Covid-19 virus and causes the body to produce some of the viral proteins itself.
It works by introducing a messenger RNA molecule into the body that instructs the body to make copies of the protein spikes on the Covid-19 virus. The immune system then learns to recognize and produce antibodies against the protein.
What are the reported side effects?
The side effects reported were mild, with the worst cases comparing them to a "severe hangover" that got better quickly. The most common side effects were fatigue (4 percent) and headache (2 percent) after the second dose, given 21 days after the first vaccine.
What about longer term?
While there might be problems that are still unknown, most vaccines show adverse side effects quickly. The most recent example was swine flu, where around 900 cases of narcolepsy were reported a few weeks after being vaccinated and people suddenly fell asleep.
However, this was still very rare. One study found that about one in 55,000 bumps was associated with narcolepsy. The MHRA has announced that it will actively monitor the introduction of the vaccine through its yellow card reporting system.
This way, anyone can report side effects that they believe were caused by the vaccine.
I had coronavirus. Do i need the vaccine?
Yes. A recent study by Public Health England found that levels of antibodies that neutralize a virus before it enters cells in the body dropped dramatically in many patients a few months after recovery.
In addition, the diversity of immune responses due to natural infection could be due to differences in the amount of virus the person was exposed to.
With a vaccine, everyone receives the same dose and therefore the same level of protection.
Why is it not offered to pregnant women?
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JVCI) has indicated that pregnant women are not receiving the vaccine due to the lack of data on the safety of Covid-19 vaccines in pregnancy.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer, said the pregnant woman guide was a precautionary measure and not a sign that the JCVI had identified a "terrible problem".
And no children?
It is normal for vaccines to be tested on adults before children, which would require an entirely separate pediatric testing program. Pfizer has now started testing its vaccine on children aged 12 and over.
SIMON STEVENS: V-Day is a historic moment … and you can play your part
BySimon Stevens Managing Director of NHS England for the Daily Mail
This is a milestone for our country and a significant day for the NHS as we launch the largest vaccination campaign in our history.
The NHS staff pulled out all the stops to prepare for V-Day.
When nurses give the first "pushes" this morning, it will be the culmination of months of hard work by many people at home and abroad and the recent NHS intervention to protect the public from Covid-19.
If the first push is given today, scientists, doctors, and health professionals together have accomplished in months what typically takes years.
So it is right to everyone who worked tirelessly to develop the vaccine, the volunteers who selflessly took part in the studies, and the professional regulators for the thorough work they did to make sure it was safe and secure to say a big thank you Effective.
This is a milestone for our country and a significant day for the NHS as we launch the largest vaccination campaign in our history, writes Sir Simon Stevens
Of course, it will take a few months to reach all of the people at risk as more vaccines are available online.
So in the meantime, we must continue to be very careful.
Too many of us have lost loved ones or seen them exposed to serious illness. And we have all endured the pain of separation, isolation, and fear that comes from taking necessary social distancing measures.
So after such a year of testing, we can trust that we now have the tools to fight back this horrific virus.
But as we celebrate progress, it is important that we don't give up our vigilance.
Following the instructions on “Hands, Face and Space” only becomes more important at the start of the Christmas season.
As everyone knows, prevention is better than cure.
Since the first cases were diagnosed in January, NHS staff have gone above and beyond to care for nearly 200,000 patients with Covid-19 while maintaining other vital services. NHS staff are rarely out and about, and today is only the first step back to normal.
The delivery of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine presents complex logistical challenges as it must be kept at -70 ° C until use and can only be moved a limited number of times after leaving the manufacturer.
For this reason, we're starting this week with vaccinations at 50 hospital centers and then expanding to other hospitals, general practitioners' practices and nursing homes in the coming weeks.
Community pharmacists and vaccination centers housed in sports venues and conference centers will stand up as more products come online in the New Year.
The NHS has been shown to have delivered vaccines against diseases such as tuberculosis, polio and meningitis.
The history of health care has been one of innovation, and employees are now showing the same agility in delivering the vaccine as they were during the first wave of infections, when hospitals were quickly reconfigured to respond to the pandemic.
Daily Mail readers can do their part. The NHS will contact you when it is your turn to receive the vaccine. And if you are contacted, please accept the offer.
As our doctors have said, this is a marathon, not a sprint, and delivering the program is the work of months rather than days or weeks.
When we look back today, we all in the healthcare sector hope that this marks a pivotal turning point in our collective fight against the coronavirus.
HOW DO THE OXFORD, MODERNA AND PFIZER / BIONTECH Vaccines compare?
Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech have both released interim clinical trial results for their end-stage vaccines, both of which indicate that they are extremely effective.
Oxford University has published the results of its second phase showing that the sting induces an immune response and is safe to use. It's not yet clear how well it protects against coronavirus in the real world.
How to Compare:
PFIZER (US) & BIONTECH (DE)
mRNA vaccine – Genetic material from the coronavirus is injected to stimulate the immune system to make "spike" proteins and learn how to attack them.
mRNA vaccine – both Moderna, Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines work the same way.
Recombinant Viral Vector Vaccine – A harmless cold virus taken from chimpanzees has been engineered to produce the "spike" proteins and look like the coronavirus.
94.5% effective (90 positive in the placebo group, 5 positive in the vaccine group).
95% effective (160 positive in the placebo group, 8 positive in the vaccine group).
62% – 90% effective, depending on the dosage.
Moderna confirmed that countries placing smaller orders, such as the UK's five million cans, will pay between £ 24 and £ 28 per dose. The US has secured 100 million doses for $ 1.525 billion (£ 1.16 billion), suggesting it will cost $ 15.25 (11.57 pounds) per dose.
The US pays $ 1.95 billion (£ 1.48 billion) for the first 100 million doses, which is the equivalent of $ 19.50 (£ 14.80) per dose.
Estimated to cost £ 2.23 per dose. The UK's full 100 million dose supply could add up to just £ 223 million.
The UK has ordered five million cans that will be available from March 2021. Moderna will produce 20 million cans this year, which is expected to remain in the US.
The UK has already ordered 40 million cans, 10 million of which could be available in 2020. The first vaccinations are expected in December.
The UK has already ordered 100 million cans and is expected to come first to get the cans once approved.
What side effects does it cause?
Moderna said the vaccine was "generally safe and well tolerated". Most of the side effects were mild or moderate, but included pain, fatigue and headache, which "generally" were short-lived.
Pfizer and BioNTech did not provide a breakdown of the side effects, but said the Data Monitoring Committee "did not report any serious safety concerns."
Oxford said there were no serious safety concerns. Mild side effects were relatively common in small studies. Many participants reported that their arm hurt after the shock and that they later suffered from headache, fatigue, or muscle pain. Further data is collected.
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