A year after a mysterious new respiratory disease emerged in Wuhan, China, upending patterns of life and work, the United Kingdom on Tuesday took a major step forward in the fight against Covid-19 as it began administering coronavirus vaccines.
Last week, The United Kingdom became the first western country to approve Covid-19 vaccine. It has started vaccinating its population against the virus that has killed more than 1.5 million people with over 67 million cases recorded globally
Grandmother Margaret Keenan, a 90-year-old woman was the first to get the jab marking the start of a historic mass vaccination programme.
Keenan, who turns 91 next week received the shot at University Hospital Coventry at 6:31 a.m. (1:31 a.m. ET).
“It’s the best early birthday present I could wish for because it means I can finally look forward to spending time with my family and friends in the New Year after being on my own for most of the year,” Keenan said
Ms. Sloan, the first person to receive the vaccine in NI, is going to manage the Belfast Trust vaccination centre.
“I’ve been waiting, looking forward to it for so long and it feels great, it feels fantastic, privileged,” she told the BBC’s Good Morning Ulster programme.
“This feels like the last hurdle towards keeping people safe, myself, and everyone around me.”
The United Kingdom has the sixth-largest number of Covid-19 infections in the world with over 1.7 million confirmed cases and 61,531 deaths according to John Hopkins.
The U.K. has ordered 40 million doses, or enough for 20 million people – about a third of the population – because two doses, three-to-four weeks apart, are required. Due to intense global demand, the U.K. has been given 800,000 doses to begin with.
The first doses of the highly anticipated coronavirus shots reached the U.K. on Thursday night after traveling through the Eurotunnel that connects the U.K. to continental Europe from Belgium, where the vaccination was manufactured.
Rolling out the vaccine comes with logistical complications connected to the way the vaccine needs to be stored: ultra-cold, at minus 70 Celsius (minus 94 Fahrenheit). It’s mostly hospitals that have the facilities to store the vaccine at that temperature.
By: Ifunanya Ikueze