UK ready for roll-out; Pfizer CEO not certain if shot stops spread

Meanwhile, Pfizer Inc’s CEO Albert Bourla appeared in an interview with NBC News, saying he is “not certain” if those who receive the vaccine will be able to transmit Covid to others.
Britain is preparing to become the first country to roll out the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine this week, initially making the shot available at hospitals before distributing stocks to doctors' clinics, the government said on Sunday.

 
The first doses are set to be administered on Tuesday, with the National Health Service (NHS) giving top priority to vaccinating the over-80s, frontline health care workers and care home staff and residents.

In total, Britain has ordered 40 million doses. As each person requires two doses, that is enough to vaccinate 20 million people in the country of 67 million.

About 800,000 doses are expected to be available within the first week. Initial doses that have arrived from Belgium are being stored in secure locations across the country, where they will be quality checked, the health ministry said.

Meanwhile, Pfizer Inc’s CEO Albert Bourla appeared in an interview with NBC News, saying he is “not certain” if those who receive the vaccine will be able to transmit Covid to others.

“Even though I’ve had the protection, am I still able to transmit it to other people?” NBC’s Lester Holt asked. Bourla replied: “I think this is something that needs to be examined. We aren’t certain about that right now.”

US may begin vaccinations by Friday

Vaccinations in the US could begin as early as Friday, with the Food and Drug Administration set to vote on emergency-use authorization for the Pfizer/BioNtech SE shot the day before, an FDA adviser told NBC News.

The chief adviser for US efforts on vaccines said he planned to meet with President-elect Joe Biden this week to discuss coronavirus vaccines as they are expected to be rolled out to the first Americans later this month.

China prepares large-scale roll-out

Provincial governments across China are placing orders for experimental, domestically made Covid 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 Thursday during a UN meeting, as Britain issued approval for emergency use of Pfizer's vaccine candidate.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II to get vaccine

 
Queen Elizabeth II (pictured), the UK’s 94-year-old monarch, will get a coronavirus vaccine, partly to help promote uptake. The nation will start inoculations on Tuesday, followed by the US as soon as Friday. With high levels of vaccine scepticism worrying public health experts, the Times and Mail on Sunday newspapers reported that Queen Elizabeth, 94, and her husband Prince Philip, 99, would "let it be known" when they had received the jab.

The queen is highly admired in British society, and her public backing for the vaccine would be a powerful message to counter anti-vaccination misinformation circulating online.



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