An 82-year-old UK man has become the first person in the world to receive the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine against the CCP virus.
Retired maintenance manager Brian Pinker received the vaccine at 7.30 a.m. on Monday just a few hundred metres from where the vaccine was developed by scientists at Oxford University.
“I am so pleased to be getting the COVID vaccine today and really proud that it is one that was invented in Oxford,” said Pinker, a kidney dialysis patient who is looking forward to celebrating his 48th wedding anniversary with his wife, Shirley, in February.
Trevor Cowlett, an 88-year-old music teacher, was reportedly the second person in the world, bar those who have received it in clinical trials, to get the jab, and Andrew Pollard, the head of the Oxford Vaccine Group and its chief investigator, was the third.
The first Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine inoculations come just under a month since Britain became the first country in the world to commence rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which, due to needing to be stored at minus 70 degrees Centigrade super cold temperatures, presents more distribution difficulties than the Oxford/Astra Zeneca jab.
Both vaccines require recipients to have two doses to be as effective as possible.
But in order to protect more people, the UK will prioritise giving more recipients their first dose of either vaccine over ensuring people receive their second dose.
The country has been grappling with the world’s sixth-worst death toll and one of the worst economic hits from the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus crisis.
It has administered more than a million CCP virus vaccinations already—more than the rest of Europe put together, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.
“That’s a triumph of British science that we’ve managed to get where we are,” he told Sky News. “Right at the start, we saw that the vaccine was the only way out long term.”
More than 75,000 people in the UK have died within 28 days of a positive CCP virus test, though a wider measure puts the death toll at 82,624, and concerns over the pandemic have deepened rapidly this month.
On Dec. 14, Hancock announced that a new variant of the virus was identified in England, and it was associated with spikes in case numbers in certain areas.
Then, on Dec. 19, Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, confirmed that the new strain spreads more quickly than the original variant of the virus. He said, however, that “There is no current evidence to suggest the new strain causes a higher mortality rate or that it affects vaccines and treatments.”
Nevertheless, large swaths of England were subsequently put under tier four restrictions, where residents are told to stay at home unless they have a “reasonable excuse” to leave their houses.
Later, 0n Dec. 23, another variant that emerged in South African, two cases of which have been detected in Britain, also began to cause concern. Hancock said, it is “yet more transmissible, and it appears to have mutated further than the new variant that has been discovered in the UK.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday that even tougher restrictions were likely to be introduced in the UK, despite the millions of citizens already living under the strictest tier of current rules.
Lily Zhou and Reuters contributed to this report.