The United Kingdom on Monday began vaccinating its people with the Covid-19 shot developed by Oxford University along with AstraZeneca. Oxford University Hospital tweeted that Brian Pinker, 82-year-old dialysis patient, received the first shot from nurse Sam Foster at the hospital.
“I am so pleased to be getting the COVID vaccine today and really proud that it is one that was invented in Oxford. The nurses, doctors and staff today have all been brilliant and I can now really look forward to celebrating my 48th wedding anniversary with my wife Shirley later this year,” said Pinker, according to news agency Reuters.
Nurse Sam Foster, who administered the first shot, said, “We look forward to vaccinating more patients and health and care staff with the Oxford vaccine in the coming weeks.”
Earlier, British health minister Matt Hancock had said that he was delighted to roll out the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine and hailed it as “a vital step in our fight against this pandemic.” He had also said that hundreds of more vaccination sites were being activated across the UK to ensure the delivery of the new vaccine.
Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) said in a statement that it was the first health service in the world to deliver the AstraZeneca-University of Oxford Covid-19 vaccine and called it a “life-saving” jab.
Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and chief investigator of the Oxford vaccine trial Prof Andrew Pollard too received the shot. He said protecting healthcare workers from Covid-19 is important in the fight against the disease. “It was an incredibly proud moment for me to have received the actual vaccine that the University of Oxford and the AstraZeneca teams have worked so hard to make available to the UK and the world.”
The UK government had already procured 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine and more than half a million doses were ready for administering on Monday, the BBC reported.