COVID: UK marks one-year anniversary of Oxford / AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine approval | UK News

Boris Johnson has praised the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine for saving “many millions of lives” as Britain marks the first country to approve the COVID vaccine exactly one year ago.

December 30, 2020 Oxford / AstraZeneca shot became the second approved coronavirus plug of the UK’s independent drug regulator – after Pfizer / BioNTech.

To date, almost 50 million Oxford / AstraZeneca Doses have been administered in the UK that have saved countless lives, kept people out of hospital and reduced pressure on the NHS.

Brian Pinker
Brian Pinker was the first person to receive the Oxford / AstraZeneca jab

Brian Pinker, an 82-year-old kidney disease patient on dialysis at Oxford’s Churchill Hospital, became the first to receive the plug on January 4th.

After his jab, the retired maintenance manager said: “I’m so happy to get the COVID vaccine today and really proud that it’s one that was invented in Oxford.

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

His plug was donated by Sam Foster, senior nurse at Oxford University Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trust.

Worldwide, 2.5 billion doses of the British-made jab have been administered in more than 170 countries.

It is famously cheaper and easier to store and transport compared to Pfizer / BioNTech, and meant that GPs and nursing homes could have better access to the vaccine.

AstraZeneca Cambridge lab
Boris Johnson praises Oxford / AstraZeneca jab for ‘saving many millions of lives’

The government has invested more than £ 88 million to help research, develop and manufacture the vaccine and it prime minister said the global struggle against COVID would not be possible without it.

“We can all be incredibly proud of – and grateful for – a shock that has saved many millions of lives,” he added.

AstraZeneca UK President Tom Keith-Roach said the vaccine “should give us confidence and renewed hope for 2022” and praised the “tireless efforts” of those involved in the rollout.

AstraZeneca originally supplied the vaccine on a non-profit basis, but changed its strategy last month. It has also since taken a back seat in the UK rollout, as Pfizer and Moderna jabs have been favored for younger people and the booster campaign.

Health Minister Sajid Javid said: “I am incredibly proud of the role Britain has played in the development, research and manufacture of cutting-edge vaccines and treatments during the pandemic.

“Vaccines are the best way to protect people from COVID-19, and I urge everyone to play their part in this national mission – roll up your sleeves and get your plugs.”

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PM appeals for increased booster recording

The COVID-19 vaccination program is the largest in British history, and there are thousands of vaccine centers in the UK alone – with 98% of people living within 10 miles of a jab clinic.

The anniversary comes in the week the NHS launched one fresh booster jab drive in an effort to protect more people from the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, which is now the dominant tribe.

An additional 650,000 text messages and 50,000 letters will be sent in the coming days to those people who have not yet received their third dose of vaccine, asking them to have a “jabby New Year”.

About 51 million people in the UK have received at least the first dose of a vaccine, while more than 32 million have received a third injection.

Recent daily figures also show one record number of new cases in the UK – 183,037.

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