COVID-19 Vaccine Update: UK begins inoculating citizens with Oxford shot

After the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, the UK has now begun inoculating citizens with the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, with 82-year-old Oxford-born Brian Pinker becoming the first to receive the new jab. According to reports, the vaccine will first be administered to a small number of hospitals for surveillance purposes, with the priority being to immunise care home residents.

Alongside Pinker, music teacher and father-of-three Trevor Cowlett, aged 88, and Professor Andrew Pollard, a paediatrician working at OUH who also pioneered the Oxford jab, are among the first to be vaccinated on Monday. "The Oxford vaccine is a triumph of British science and I want to thank everyone involved in its development and production," said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Oxford vaccine had shown 90% efficacy in one dosing regimen when the vaccine was given as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least a month later, and another dosing regimen showed 62% efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart. The average was somewhere around 70%.

This is however not the first vaccine to be approved for use in the UK. Earlier, in December 2020, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had been approved for use. Thus far, over a million COVID-19 vaccine does have been administered.

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