Britain sticks two fingers on Covid as we beat the world to get vaccinated

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The United Kingdom yesterday took the first steps towards victory over Covid-19 by beating the world to get a vaccine.

Millions of Britons are expected to receive the Pfizer jab in time for Christmas after it is approved by regulators.

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Britain has stuck two fingers on Covid as we beat the world to get a vaccine – and millions will have it by Christmas
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Boris hailed the news of the vaccine but urged people to continue following the rules until it is rolled outCredit: Reuters

Boris Johnson praised the “fantastic” news but warned it was not “game over” and to stick to anti-virus rules.

Mr Johnson said at a No 10 press conference: ‘We have waited and hoped for the day when the spotlight of science identifies our invisible enemy and gives us the power to prevent this enemy from making us sick. And now scientists have done it.

“And they used the virus to perform some kind of biological jiu-jitsu, to turn the virus on itself in the form of a vaccine.”

Britain became the first country in the world to get one thanks to Brexit – after breaking with Brussels to approve it in record time.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam admitted he got “emotional” when Britain’s MHRA regulator approved the Pfizer / BioNTech jab.

He said: “What a memorable trip and what an international effort it has been. Discovered by two scientists who originally lived in Turkey, developed by a German biotech company with the involvement of a huge US pharmaceutical giant and involvement in our own UK MHRA to bring the goods home.

“MEMORY TRIP”

The trucks carrying the first doses from Belgium are on their way, with 800,000 vials arriving in the “next days”.

Britain has ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine, which works 95% of the time.

Refrigerated heavy goods vehicles loaded with coronavirus vaccine leaving Pfizer factory in Belgium bound for the UKsept

Refrigerated heavy goods vehicles loaded with coronavirus vaccine leaving Pfizer factory in Belgium bound for the UKCredit: AP: Associated Press

People need two jabs to be fully protected, and millions of people will be inoculated in the coming weeks, with most of them deployed early next year.

The Army will turbo-charge delivery as part of the largest national troop deployment in UK history.

However, there were fears that residents of the nursing homes for the aged might miss the first batch when they were most at risk.

Health chiefs admit restrictions around the vaccine have created a “logistical nightmare.”

It must be transported at -70 ° C, moved only four times and given from a tray of 975 vials that cannot be divided.

The typical care home has only a few dozen residents, meaning that hundreds of vials costing around £ 15 each would be wasted.

Millions of Britons are now in line for coronavirus vaccination after Pfizer jab approvalsept

Millions of Britons are now in line for coronavirus vaccination after Pfizer jab approvalCredit: Reuters
Pfizer Covid vaccine sent to Britain in thermal shipping boxes

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Pfizer Covid vaccine sent to Britain in thermal shipping boxesCredit: AP: Associated Press

Pfizer ‘Miracle’ Q&A

HOW can we be sure the vaccine is safe with such a short trial period?

The vaccine has gone through all regulatory processes and clinical trials but has been treated as a priority.

Will people who have already had Covid be vaccinated?

People will be vaccinated whether or not they have had Covid.

Are people protected after the first dose of the vaccine?

The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses to be fully effective. Doses are given 21 days apart and are effective seven days later.

Is the vaccine compulsory?

No, people in the UK aren’t being told they need to have the vaccine, but health officials are strongly advising those who do offer it to have it.

How long will the immunity last once vaccinated?

Scientists don’t know the exact answer to this yet. Trial volunteers will be followed for several months.

Is it safe for pregnant women and their babies to get the vaccine?

Women are advised not to be vaccinated against Covid during pregnancy or if they are planning to become pregnant in the next three months.

Could there be a delay for the second vaccination due to stock or supply issues?

The first batch of 800,000 people will be used for 400,000 people.

Instead, the NHS will start vaccinating nursing home staff and those over 80 at 53 hospitals next week, with NHS staff being vaccinated soon after.

There are high hopes that the Oxford jab, which is easier to carry, will be approved in a few weeks and that nursing homes will get it first.

In total, the UK has ordered 350 million doses of seven vaccines.

The Prime Minister hailed a “fantastic time” but warned the British had to stick to the rules for one last push.

He said: “The worst thing now is to think that now is the time when we can let go of our guard and think that the game is over in the fight against Covid. This is not the end. We must fight and pursue tough measures. ”

But he said the vaccine and testing would help us escape lockdown.

The Prime Minister said: “We no longer rely on the mere hope that we can get back to normal next year in the spring, but rather on the certainty and certainty that we will be successful.

“And together, let’s get our lives back and everything we love about our lives.”

‘CLAIM OUR LIVES’

However, Professor Van-Tam warned that we will never eradicate Covid and that we could wear masks during flu season for years.

He didn’t think there would be a time when we could “have a big party, throw in masks and hand sanitizer and say it’s behind us like the end of the war.”

The prime minister corrected him, saying he had “high hopes” that the vaccine would return to normal life.

But they agreed that “personal habits” such as wearing masks could continue into the future.

MHRA chief Dr June Raine insisted that no wedge was cut in the vaccine’s safety assessment.

She told the Downing Street briefing: “Public safety will always come first. This recommendation was only given by the MHRA after the most rigorous scientific evaluation of each data so that it meets the strict standards required of safety, efficacy and quality.

Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla called MHRA’s announcement “a historic moment.”

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam warned the coronavirus would never be eradicatedsept
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam warned the coronavirus would never be eradicatedCredit: Getty – Pool
MHRA chief Dr June Raine insisted that no wedge was cut in vaccine safety assessment

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MHRA chief Dr June Raine insisted no wedge was cut in vaccine safety assessmentCredit: EPA

He said: “This clearance is a goal we have been working towards since we first declared that science would win, and we commend the MHRA for its ability to conduct careful assessment and take timely action to help protect the people of the UK.

It came as Covid deaths in the UK saw their second highest daily increase since May, of 648 – with the total number of deaths now at 59,699.

However, infections fell 11 percent in one week.

Pfizer Covid vaccine ALREADY en route to UK as trucks leave Belgian factory

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