Britain Set To Become First Western Nation To Start Inoculating Against COVID
The first COVID-19 vaccine shots are expected to be administered in Britain on Tuesday.
UK To Start Coronavirus Vaccinations On Tuesday
The U.K.’s National Health Service will begin the first Western mass immunization program against coronavirus on Tuesday, with the elderly and care home workers first in line for the jab. Following approval on December 2 by the U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the first doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine have arrived in the U.K. from Belgium and 50 vaccination “hubs'' at hospitals have been set up. The NHS says that people over 80 who are attending hospital as outpatients as well as those being discharged from hospital will be among the first to receive the vaccine. (Furlong, 12/6)
And other nations rev up their COVID vaccination plans —
Bahrain Now 2nd Nation To Grant Pfizer Shot Emergency Use
The island kingdom of Bahrain said it has become the second nation in the world to grant an emergency-use authorization for the coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech. The state-run Bahrain News Agency made the announcement on Friday night, following an earlier announcement by the United Kingdom on Wednesday, making Britain the first in the world. “The confirmation of approval by the National Health Regulatory Authority of the kingdom of Bahrain followed thorough analysis and review undertaken by the authority of all available data,” the kingdom said. (Gambrell, 12/4)
Indonesia Gets First Batch Of Vaccine From China’s Sinovac
The first batch of Covid-19 vaccine ordered from China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. arrived in Indonesia, marking a new phase in the country’s fight against Southeast Asia’s worst outbreak. As many as 1.2 million doses of the vaccine arrived late on Sunday and the government expects to receive another shipment of 1.8 million in early January, according to Indonesian President Joko Widodo. Sinovac will also ship raw material for 45 million doses, which Indonesia’s state pharmaceutical firm PT Bio Farma will process locally, Widodo said in a statement. (Sipahutar and Aditya, 12/6)
China Prepares Large-Scale Rollout Of Coronavirus Vaccines
Provincial governments across China are placing orders for experimental, domestically made coronavirus vaccines, though health officials have yet to say how well they work or how they may reach the country’s 1.4 billion people. Developers are speeding up final testing, the Chinese foreign minister said during a U.N. meeting last week, as Britain approved emergency use of Pfizer Inc.’s vaccine candidate and providers scrambled to set up distribution. (Wu, 12/7)
Moscow Opens Dozens Of Coronavirus Vaccination Centers
The city of Moscow opening 70 vaccination facilities where thousands of doctors, teachers and others in high-risk groups had signed up to receive COVID-19 vaccines starting Saturday, a precursor to a sweeping Russia-wide immunization effort. The centers in the capital started giving shots to willing recipients three days after President Vladimir Putin ordered the launch of a “large-scale” COVID-19 immunization campaign even though a Russian-designed vaccine has yet to complete the advanced studies needed to ensure its effectiveness and safety in line with established scientific protocols. (Isachenkov, 12/5)
The Latest: Germany Says Vaccinations To Start In Early Jan.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff says he expects coronavirus vaccinations to start in Germany “in the very first days” of the new year. The trained doctor says he’s prepared to help vaccinate people himself. European Union authorities are expected to make a decision by Dec. 29 on approving the first vaccine for use. Germany is getting special vaccination centers ready. The news comes as Britain gears up to start coronavirus vaccinations on Tuesday. (12/7)