Health & Fitness: UK starts giving people the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine

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The United Kingdom has begun administering a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, making it the first nation to do so, according to news reports.

A healthcare professional holding a vaccine. © Provided by Live Science A healthcare professional holding a vaccine.

U.K. regulators authorized the vaccine for emergency use last week, and starting today (Jan. 4), a select number of hospitals have begun giving the shots, The Associated Press reported. Brian Pinker, an 82-year-old dialysis patient, received the very first dose at 7:30 a.m. at Oxford's Churchill Hospital.

The U.K. already authorized use of a different COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, in early December 2020, and more than a million people in the country have received their first dose, BBC News reported. The National Health Service (NHS) has established about 730 vaccination sites so far, and by week's end, that number should exceed 1,000.

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  Which is the better of the Covid-19 vaccines and when will we get it? Three shots - made by Pfizer, Moderna, and Oxford University - have proven safe and effective in trias. Pfizer's is slightly more preventive, but easier storage could make Oxford's the key vaccine.Such strong results from the Oxford-AstraZeneca team give the world real hope of an end to the pandemic early next year.

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For now, only a handful of hospitals will distribute the newly authorized Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, according to the Associated Press. This is intended to help health officials monitor for adverse reactions in the first few days of distribution. In total, the U.K. has secured 100 million doses of the vaccine and will likely begin distributing the shots more widely later in the week, BBC reported.

Like the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is administered in two doses given several weeks apart, according to Reuters. The Oxford vaccine is estimated to be about 70% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infections, while the Pfizer vaccine has about 95% efficacy. However, due to its design, the Oxford vaccine can be stored at normal fridge temperatures and is cheaper per dose than the Pfizer vaccine, which requires deep freezing.

With both vaccines now authorized, the U.K. aims to vaccinate all its care home residents by the end of January, the Department of Health and Social Care said, according to the BBC. Care home staff, people over age 80 and frontline NHS staff are also being prioritized for the shots.

Originally published on Live Science.

Covid good news! More than a THIRD have had jab as 24million vaccinated - rollout MAPPED .
THE COVID vaccine programme in the UK has been one of the biggest in the world, and after a series of pandemic failures, the Government has got this right so far.We're all looking for a shred of good news with coronavirus right now, and the latest data from NHS England seems to bring that hope.

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