Today, Tuesday, the United Kingdom launched a comprehensive vaccination against the Coronavirus, as the first country in the West. First place is health care workers, people over the age of 80, and employees in nursing homes.
The first to get the vaccine was 90-year-old Margaret Kennan. She was vaccinated at 8:30 this morning.
Kennan, who will turn 91 next week, was not worried about vaccination.
– She said this is the best birthday present. I feel so privileged. Now I can finally spend time with my family and friends after I’ve been on my own for the most part of the year.
The UK has signed an agreement on 40 million doses with the US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and the German pharmaceutical company Biontech, which developed the vaccine.
That’s enough for 20 million people, because you have to get two doses of the vaccine for it to work. In the first phase, the British received 800,000 doses, enough to vaccinate 400,000 people.
Vaccination centers have been established throughout the island kingdom and vaccination will continue at least until spring. Health Minister Matt Hancock confirmed that the vaccine doses have been distributed across the UK.
Johnson: The battle isn’t over yet
The head of the UK’s national healthcare system, the National Health Service, Simon Stevens, says this is a turning point in the fight against COVID-19, but urges people to continue to be vigilant, until spring.
Until then, everyone should exercise extreme caution.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also called for caution and stated that the fight against the virus was not over yet.
It is wonderful that the vaccination has started, but we cannot afford to sit still.
Johnson says he knows, of course, that there are those who are opposed to the vaccine for political, ideological or medical reasons.
It’s the wrong position, the vaccine is safe and the right thing to do – for the best of all, Johnson says.
The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is calling on rich countries to fulfill their promises to provide vaccine aid to poor countries.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Bild: Agence France-Presse
The World Health Organization demands that promises be kept
The UK Vaccine Program follows the guidelines provided by the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has called on countries around the world to vaccinate those most in need of protection from the virus.
This mainly applies to healthcare professionals and the elderly, as it also relieves the pressure on hospitals, which in many countries are under severe stress. After that, people with diseases that could lead to serious complications should be vaccinated if they become infected.
These are not easy decisions, says Tedros.
The World Health Organization stresses the importance of vaccinating even countries that receive vaccines and distributing vaccines evenly around the world.
That is why the World Health Organization is appealing to rich countries to obtain more than 4 billion euros in emergency aid for this year, and more than 23 billion euros next year, to be able to distribute vaccines around the world, regardless of how wealthy or poor people or countries are.
What we need now globally is fulfilling presently empty promises. The gap between rhetoric and reality is very large now.
Sources: BBC, Agence France-Presse
The article was updated at 11.19 hours with information about Margaret Kennan who had been vaccinated, and at the age of 17, it was supplemented with comments by Boris Johnson.