- Government aims to vaccinate all the four most vulnerable groups within the next one and a half months’ period
The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has informed that some doctors’ practices would be able to offer the Oxford-AstraZeneca (LON: AZN) vaccine from today in England. The aim is to inoculate the most vulnerable groups within the next six weeks, informed the healthcare body.
The vaccine would be rolled out across selected General Practice services now. It was first administered across the British hospitals, beginning from Monday.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is easier to handle and can be easily stored under the normal refrigerator temperatures. On the other hand, the Pfizer vaccine requires ultra- low storage temperatures.
The vaccine is usually given in two doses, with the second jab given after 4 weeks of the first one. It is usually administered by injecting it into the upper arm.
(Image source: ©Kalkine Group 2020)
Across the nation, close to 1.3 million people have already received the first shot of either the two vaccines by now -- the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford-AstraZeneca one. Health minister Matt Hancock said that the government wanted to offer jabs to most of the care home residents by the end of this month.
It also aimed to vaccinate all of the 13 million Britons in the top four priority groups by the middle of February, he added. The top priority groups consisted of the frontline healthcare workers, the medically vulnerable, the elders, and the social-care staff.
To attain these goals, the government has to speed up the number of vaccine shots to roughly 2 million per week.
Hancock said that with rapidly rising cases in Britain, the new lockdown was very important. Else doctors could be forced to ration treatment. A stringent action is required so that the NHS is able to cope up with the situation, he stressed.
Lockdown in England
England’s third nation-wide lockdown which was announced on Monday has legally come into force. The measures included school closure and stay-at-home restrictions for most. The regulation allows the new lockdown to remain in place until March 31. It is likely to pass as Labour party is expected to support the motion.
Other parts of the UK are also under stricter curbs. Lockdowns are imposed across Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales as well.
While imposing the lockdown in England, Johnson had said that the number of hospital patients with coronavirus disease were 40 per cent higher than the last spring peak.
Highest daily death toll
The UK recorded the highest daily death toll due to the fatal coronavirus illness yesterday. 1041 people have been reported to have died on January 6 with Covid-19 infection. This is the highest recorded daily death toll in the nation since last April.
This news came in as more than 60,000 new infections were recorded for the same day. This was the highest daily rise since mass testing was started in the nation.