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COVID-19: 82-year-old Brit Becomes World's First Person To Get AstraZeneca-Oxford Vaccine

UK’s health secretary Matt Hancock called moment ‘pivotal and historic’ as the country started a mass vaccination program with the first doses of AstraZeneca.

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The UK on January 3 inoculated an 82-year-old with the recently authorized Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, making the elderly man the first in the world to receive the jab. The retired maintenance manager Brian Pinker has been a patient at Oxford’s Churchill hospital for kidney dialysis treatment. UK’s health secretary Matt Hancock called the moment ‘pivotal and historic’ as the country started a mass vaccination program with the first doses of AstraZeneca that arrived in the first batches at the hospitals. The Princess Royal Hospital at Haywards Heath in West Sussex became one of the first medical facilities to receive the early shipment of the100 million doses of the new vaccine with the UK’s goal to vaccinate 50 million population. 

According to SKY, the vaccine was administered to the second and the third elderly and vulnerable Brits named Trevor Cowlett and Professor Andrew Pollard. The  88-year-old Cowlett is a music teacher, while Pollard is a pediatrician, employed at the Oxford University Hospitals in the UK. The mass vaccination program was initiated by the UK on January 4 after it became the world’s first country to authorized the emergency use of the second COVID-19 vaccine, after Pfizer's approval, calling the vial  “vaccine for the world.” 

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“It is truly fantastic news – and a triumph for British science – that the vaccine has been approved for use. We will now move to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a release. "The vaccine is our way out of the pandemic," the British health secretary added. Professor Andrew Pollard, the director of the Oxford Vaccine Group who led the clinical trial, said: "Though, this is just the beginning, we will start to get ahead of the pandemic, protect health and economies when the vulnerable are vaccinated everywhere, as many as possible as soon possible."

2 million vaccination per week

The UK started vaccination across six hospitals located in Oxford, Sussex, Lancashire, Warwickshire, and two in London, according to broadcasters, and has procured at least 53,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Boris Johnson administration announced that it plans to hit the goal of vaccinating 2 million population per week. The UK registered  50,000 new confirmed Covid cases as of January 3 as several parts of England, London, Northern Ireland, and Wales remain under lockdown over the spread of the new COVID-19 variant. 

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