Coronavirus vaccine roll out priority: List outlines who in Britain will get jab first

Coronavirus vaccine roll out priority: List outlines who in Britain will get jab first

A coronavirus vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech has been found to be 90 percent effective in preventing people from getting the virus. The game-changing news prompted Prime Minister Boris Johnson to outline the rationale for deciding who gets the jab first. As he explained, there are “several hurdles” to overcome before the vaccine can be rolled out in the UK.

“Earlier this year, the UK government ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, enough for about a third of the nation,” he explained.

If it passes all the rigorous safety checks and the results are consistent, a UK-wide NHS-led programme of vaccination distribution will be launched, the PM said.

To decide who will receive the jab first, Ms Johnson said he will take account of recommendations from a group of scientific experts – the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

A range of factors, such as the characteristics of different vaccines will be considered.

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Commenting on the findings, Pfizer chairman and chief executive Dr Albert Bourla, said: “Today is a great day for science and humanity. The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19.

“With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis.”

Previous trials have shown the vaccine’s efficacy is attributed to its ability to train the body to make both antibodies – and another part of the immune system called T-cells to fight the coronavirus.

Commenting on the game-changing development, Jaylen Mammadova, Global Healthcare Sector Lead at research firm Third Bridge, said: “This is a stepping stone vaccine towards a more normal world but it will not be a gamechanger for Pfizer’s bottom line.

“This is a first-generation vaccine that can help policymakers swing our lives back towards normal but it should be overtaken by more effective and durable second and third-generation vaccines in 2021.

“We anticipate initial market uptake should there be no safety issues. However, the idea of this being the final silver bullet for Covid may be mistaken. Durability, or how long immunity lasts in vaccine recipients, is a concern with mRNA-based vaccines like Pfizer’s, so we need to be very cautious of the 90 percent effectiveness rate we’re hearing about.

“There is also a question mark around whether Pfizer’s vaccine will be as effective amongst the elderly population.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also announced in the press conference that the UK government has ordered 300 million doses from five other vaccine candidates as well.

Coronavirus – how do I know if I have it?

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

“Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms,” says the NHS.

It adds: “If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), get a test as soon as possible. Stay at home until you get the result.”

Published at Mon, 09 Nov 2020 17:49:00 +0000