ENTERTAINMENT

The 82-year-old dialysis patient is the first Briton to receive Oxford's Covid stab


The UK today began handing out Oxford's groundbreaking Covid vaccine at what has been called a "crucial moment" in the fight against the pandemic. An 82-year-old dialysis patient was the first to receive the sting.

Brian Pinker, a retired maintenance manager who describes himself as being born and raised in Oxford, said he was "so pleased" to receive the vaccine and "really proud" that it was developed in his city.

Mr Pinker, who is now looking forward to his 48th wedding anniversary with Ms Shirley next month, received the coronavirus vaccine at 7:30 a.m. at Churchill Hospital in Oxford.

In the largest vaccination drive in British history, half a million doses of the Oxford University / AstraZeneca Jab will be made available to people in need this week. "Tens of millions" are promised by April.

AstraZeneca bosses had previously suggested finishing up to 2 million cans a week by mid-January, and officials have promised to deliver the puffs as soon as possible.

That ambitious target may be further away than hoped, however, with fears the UK won't get enough supplies until February. Matt Hancock announced today that increasing the country's manufacturing capacity is "a major medium-term project".

And he said the "bureaucracy" associated with signing up as a voluntary vaccine will be cut after it was revealed last week that thousands of retired medics trying to hand out the jostles were tied to red tape.

Brian Pinker, a retired maintenance manager who describes himself as being born and raised in Oxford, said he was "so pleased" to receive the vaccine and "really proud" that it was developed in his city

Trevor Cowlett, 88, receives Oxford University / AstraZeneca Covid vaccine from Nurse Sam Foster at Churchill Hospital in Oxford as the NHS pushes its vaccination program

Trevor Cowlett, 88, receives Oxford University / AstraZeneca Covid vaccine from Nurse Sam Foster at Churchill Hospital in Oxford as the NHS pushes its vaccination program

Professor Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and Professor of Pediatric Infections and Immunity, gives the thumbs up after receiving the vaccine

Professor Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and Professor of Pediatric Infections and Immunity, gives the thumbs up after receiving the vaccine

Vaccines may not work against mutated South African variants of Covid

Coronavirus vaccines may be ineffective against the highly infectious South African mutation, warned a scientist who helped develop the Oxford sting.

Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University, said the African variety was more worrying than Kent's.

Vaccines are believed to be effective against the highly infectious British variant VUI-202012/01, which is currently causing a massive surge in cases across the country.

But he said the South African variant 501.V2 – which has been detected in two locations in the UK – has "really quite substantial changes in the structure of the protein" which means vaccines may not work.

The Covid vaccine protects against the disease by teaching the immune system how to fight off the pathogen.

It creates antibodies – disease-fighting proteins that are made and stored to help ward off intruders in the future by clinging to their spike proteins.

However, if they cannot recognize proteins because they are mutated, it may mean that the second time the body is having difficulty attacking a virus, leading to a second infection.

Mr Pinker said: “I am very excited about today's Covid vaccine and very proud that it was invented in Oxford.

"The nurses, doctors and staff today were all brilliant and I can really look forward to celebrating my 48th wedding anniversary with my wife, Shirley later this year."

Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer of the NHS Foundation Trust at Oxford University Hospitals, who administered the vaccine to Mr Pinker, said: “It was a real privilege to be able to deliver the first Oxford vaccine to Churchill Hospital here in Oxford, just a few a hundred meters from where it was developed.

"We look forward to vaccinating many more patients, health and care workers with the Oxford vaccine in the coming weeks. It will make a big difference for the people in the communities we serve and the staff who work with them care in our hospitals mean. "

Number 10 has ordered 100 million doses of Oxford vaccine, which it is hoped will free Britain from the seemingly endless cycle of lockdowns.

But the UK – which was planning to have 4 million cans ready when it was approved last week – currently only has access to 530,000 cans.

After the batches have been quality checked, millions more are to be delivered in the coming weeks and months.

Older people in hospitals in Oxford, London, Brighton, Lancashire and Warwickshire were among the first to receive the sting.

The bulk of the cans will then be sent to hundreds of GP-run services and nursing homes later in the week for wider adoption, according to the Department of Health.

Speaking of the introduction, Mr. Hancock said, "This is a pivotal moment in our fight against this terrible virus and I hope it gives everyone renewed hope that the end of this pandemic is in sight."

Q&A: I had Covid. Do i still need it?

Who can get a Covid vaccine?

Any adult in the UK can get one unless doctors advise against it. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding can get the sting when health professionals believe the benefits outweigh the risks.

When will i get it?

The first people to get the bumps are the 22 million most at risk of death from Covid and those who work for the NHS or in nursing homes. If you're not on the priority list, it's unlikely you won't get the sting until much later in the year.

Can i buy it?

The vaccines are provided free of charge by the NHS and cannot be purchased privately in the UK. The NHS will invite people to the vaccine by phone, text or letter.

What if i had covid?

You will still need the vaccine as it is believed that the immunity you get from infection will be short-lived.

Do we have enough vaccines?

We have 530,000 doses of the Oxford vaccine ready, but 100 million have been ordered. Around 10 million people should have been vaccinated by the beginning of April. Boris Johnson has promised that "by Easter … things will get a lot better". Sir Simon Stevens, chairman of the board of directors of the NHS, believes the 22 million people most susceptible to the virus will get a sting by late spring.

How many people have been vaccinated so far?

Almost a million.

Where can i get it?

It will be available in primary care practices, hospitals, and mass vaccination centers in sports venues and conference centers (see graphic on the right).

What bumps are there?

The UK has so far approved two for use – one from Pfizer and BioNTech and the other from the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca. You can't choose which one to get. Both vaccines require two doses.

What is the distance between the cans?

The second Pfizer shock can be given three to 12 weeks after the first and the Oxford vaccine four to 12 weeks later. The government ruled last week that the gap should be 12 weeks, saying that "vaccinating more people with a single dose will prevent more deaths and hospitalizations than vaccinating a smaller number with two doses".

How effective are the shocks?

Studies have shown that the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is 73 percent effective 22 days after the first dose and increases to 80 percent when the second dose is taken after 12 weeks. Studies show that the Pfizer vaccine is 95 percent effective.

How long does it take for the vaccines to work?

About two weeks.

Does the trick mean I can ignore local restrictions?

No. You are bound by the law until the restrictions are lifted.

Why does the Oxford shock speed up vaccination?

The Oxford Jab is cheaper, costing £ 3 a dose compared to £ 15. It is also made in the UK and does not require storage at extremely low temperatures of -70 ° C, but can be kept in a regular refrigerator.

Are the vaccines safe?

Yes. Both have passed clinical trials and have been tested on thousands of people.

Do the bumps protect against the mutated variant of Covid?

Tests are being done, but early signs suggest that both protect against the latest variant of the virus.

Do children get a bump?

No. Children are not severely affected by Covid-19 and therefore do not receive any bumps.

MPs and experts have called for the vaccines to be delivered at lightning speed in order to stop the spread of the new coronavirus variant. New evidence suggests that they may be so contagious that lockdowns can barely contain them.

There are around 31.7 million people on the official waiting list for a sting, including everyone over 50, younger but seriously ill people, and millions of NHS and social workers.

Top experts insist that 2 million vaccines must be given every week if Britain has a chance to go back to normal by Easter.

Even at this ambitious pace – six times as many vaccinations are currently in progress – it would be until April for everyone on the priority list to get a dose.

However, this does not take into account how patients will need their second dose within 12 weeks.

However, there is hope that the restrictions can be lifted before the list is finalized. Officials who have previously allowed restrictions can be relaxed "if enough people susceptible to Covid-19 have then been vaccinated".

An army of current and former NHS staff has moved to give the shocks, with tens of thousands already completed their training.

Serious questions remain, however, about the race to vaccinate the rest of the nation. Last week retired medical professionals complained that they were involved in red tape.

Some former doctors who wanted to join the front were asked for 21 documents showing that they were trained on issues such as counterterrorism and racial equality.

Mr Hancock discussed the red tape that was preventing ex-medics from joining the roll-out and said number 10 will "reduce the red tape required there".

He told BBC Breakfast: "For example, there is one of the anti-terrorism training programs. I don't think that's necessary, we're going to stop.

"And we're going through the different parts of this process to optimize it as much as possible, but again, this is not a rate-capping step."

"Because right now, with the people they already have, the NHS is able to deliver the vaccine as it can be made, but of course I want to make that easier."

Oxford / AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine is the second to be available in the UK after the Medicines Agency approved the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine last month.

However, the Oxford vaccine is easier to use because it does not need to be stored at extremely low temperatures.

Yesterday Boris Johnson hailed vaccine advancement in the UK. He told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: “The UK remains the first country to get an approved third stage vaccine into people's arms.

"With a million people, as we have already, we outperform all of the rest of Europe combined."

He also promised that "tens of millions" of doses will be administered over "the next three months".

A total of 524,439 people who have already been vaccinated are 80 years or older – around one in five in this age group.

Hoping to help Britain vaccinate, supermarket giant Tesco and chemist Boots have offered to help introduce the vaccines.

Boots will open three Covid vaccination sites in Halifax, Huddersfield and Gloucester, while Tesco will assist with the distribution of the Oxford vaccine.

It has been announced that the armed forces will be assembling 150 mobile vaccine teams to deliver Covid shocks as part of a mission called Operation Delta Force.

According to defense sources, the operation – named after the elite U.S. Special Forces unit – will involve teams of medical professionals and logistics experts who will help deliver the vaccine in harsh winter weather.

The plan, which could involve up to 1,500 employees, is believed to have been approved by ministers. The troops will begin training in vaccination puffs from this week.

A fleet of Army Land Rovers is being prepared for the mission with other staff using Chinook helicopters to reach remote areas.

Football and rugby clubs and racetracks can be converted into mobile vaccination centers.

The rollout of the Pfizer / BioNTech jab began almost a month ago.

However, both shocks require a second dose, which is now due to be given within 12 weeks instead of 21 days, as originally planned, to "protect the greatest number of people in the shortest possible time," according to health chiefs.

WHERE ARE THE EMERGENCY CENTERS IN THE UK?

Britain has approved 40 major vaccination centers. Here is a list of those with final locations:

1. Edinburgh International Conference Center

2. Newcastle, Center for Life Science Park

3. Southern Trust – South Lake Recreation Center, Craigavon

4. Northern Trust – Seven Towers Leisure Center, Ballymena

5. Western Trust – Foyle Arena, Londonderry

6. Omagh Leisure Complex, Omagh

7. Lakeside Leisure Forum, Enniskillen

8. St. Helens, Totally Wicked Stadium

9. Manchester Tennis & Football Center

10. Derby Arena

11. Birmingham – Millennium Point and Black Country Living Museum, Dudley

12. Leicester Racecourse

13. Stevenage, Robertson House Conference Center

14. London Nightingale Hospital at the ExCel Center

15. Epsom Racecourse, Surrey 16. Bristol, Ashton Gate Football Stadium

17. Exeter, Sandy Park Rugby Stadium

Economy Secretary Alok Sharma said in May that AstraZeneca, the company that makes the Oxford Jab, would work to make 30 million cans available by September.

However, it is believed that only four million are potentially available pending review, although tens of millions are due by the end of March.

Professor Andrew Hayward, member of SAGE and epidemiologist at University College London, told Good Morning Britain today: “The concern is that capacity problems in manufacturing mean that we may not reach these levels until February.

"The earlier we can vaccinate people, the better and faster we can go beyond that."

The government yesterday was forced to deny claims that there was a "zip code lottery" as general practitioners in some areas did not agree to dispense the vaccine.

Vaccine Use Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “The vast majority of general practitioners have chosen to participate in the delivery of the vaccine through primary care networks.

"In areas where they have not yet agreed to participate, the NHS will be giving vaccinations in hospital centers or special centers."

Earlier this month, AstraZeneca boss Pascal Soriot promised the company could deliver two million doses a week by mid-January – which means 24 million could be vaccinated by Easter.

However, a source has suggested the target may be too big for the NHS, saying, "We never said we would do two million thrusts a week."

The source told The Daily Telegraph, “We have to deal with expectations. You can't vaccinate two million people a week from scratch. & # 39;

According to the NHS, the logistics of distribution – including training volunteers and preparing sites – may mean reaching the two million a week goal may take longer than promised.

Currently around 300,000 people get the sting every seven days.

Official figures show there has been an additional 54,990 laboratory-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, an 80 percent increase from 30,501 last week, while the death toll rose 43 percent to 454 last Sunday

Two-thirds of the UK population are now in Tier 4, the rest in Tier 3 locks. Only the Isles of Scilly off the coast of Cornwall are in easy level 2

Two-thirds of the UK population are now in Tier 4, the rest in Tier 3 locks. Only the Isles of Scilly off the coast of Cornwall are in easy level 2

Among those slated to be vaccinated with the Oxford / AstraZeneca shock starting next week are at-risk NHS workers and at-risk social workers. In the picture: The deputy technical officer Lukasz Najdrowski unpacks the cans on Monday

Among those slated to be vaccinated with the Oxford / AstraZeneca shock starting next week are at-risk NHS workers and at-risk social workers. In the picture: The deputy technical officer Lukasz Najdrowski unpacks the cans on Monday

London is now the epicenter of the outbreak and its hospitals are being overwhelmed by the flood of patients. The weekly fall rate is 858 per 100,000, twice the national average

London is now the epicenter of the outbreak and its hospitals are being overwhelmed by the flood of patients. The weekly fall rate is 858 per 100,000, twice the national average

According to Dr. Findlay is projected to vaccinate hundreds of people per day at the Princess Royal Hospital site, with efficiencies expected to increase after the first few days of the program

According to Dr. Findlay is projected to vaccinate hundreds of people per day at the Princess Royal Hospital site, with efficiencies expected to increase after the first few days of the program

TONY BLAIR PRESSURES THE GOVERNMENT TO INCREASE THE VACCINATION PROGRAM

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair urged the government to have five million vaccinations a week – and said it was hard to see how else schools could stay open.

He told Times Radio, "If I were Prime Minister now, I would tell the Downing Street team," You have to give me a plan to get that up to five million (vaccinations) a week. "

“Assuming we have the vaccine and we should have it. I mean, AstraZeneca won't be able to get up to two million doses a week this week or next, but the week after, that's just AstraZeneca.

“They could probably do more if they knew the system was able to take in the amount of vaccines they would produce.

"They should get approval for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by the end of January. Then they finish their studies, and then we should be able to get them up and running in February."

Mr Blair said a "gradual change" in the vaccination program was the only real prospect of keeping children in schools.

He said: “On the one hand, it is a disaster for school children, especially the poorest school children, if they are not educated.

“But it's also perfectly understandable for teachers and parents to say, not because they think their children… the risk to children is very, very small, it's the risk to transmission rates, and it's the risk to teachers and parents and therefore for those who they are parents mingle with.

"For all these reasons, it is emphasized again why it is so important to get vaccination going."

UK chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty warned this week that problems with vaccine availability "persist for several months" and that sting deficiency is a reality one cannot wish for.

The 530,000 cans ready for distribution tomorrow – along with another 450,000 expected in the coming days – is a fraction of what was promised.

Yesterday, Oxford Regius Professor of Medicine, Sir John Bell, who helped develop the sting with AstraZeneca, said successive British governments have left the nation to avoid making vaccines at the pace required in a pandemic.

A government spokesman said: "We have long recognized the importance of vaccine manufacturing after announcing an innovation center in 2018 and investing £ 93 million (last year) to speed up construction."

However, the makers of the Pfizer and Oxford / AstraZeneca jabs have concerns about distribution and say there is no problem with delivery.

It is claimed that 15 million doses of the Oxford vaccine are waiting to be packaged – while Pfizer has sent "millions" of doses.

A total of 24 million vials can be used or purchased at short notice.

Meanwhile, there have been concerns that the bureaucracy involved is deterring tens of thousands of recently retired general practitioners, surgeons, and nurses from helping with the country's vaccination campaign.

Criticism of “ridiculous” demands has increased, for example the requirement to be certified in fire protection or to be trained in preventing radicalization.

When asked about the complaints, Mr Johnson said, "I find it absurd and I know the Minister of Health is taking steps to get rid of this pointless red tape."

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair urged the government to have five million vaccinations a week – and said it was hard to see how else schools could stay open.

He told Times Radio, "If I were Prime Minister now, I would tell the Downing Street team," You have to give me a plan to get that up to five million (vaccinations) a week. "

“Assuming we have the vaccine and we should have it. I mean, AstraZeneca won't be able to get up to two million doses a week this week or next, but the week after, that's just AstraZeneca.

“They could probably do more if they knew the system was able to take in the amount of vaccines they would produce.

"They should get approval for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by the end of January. Then they finish their studies, and then we should be able to get them up and running in February."

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