The United Kingdom will appoint a Minister for Vaccination to oversee COVID vaccinations

LONDON (AP) – The British government has appointed a vaccination minister on Saturday as it prepares to vaccinate millions of people against the coronavirus, which is likely to begin within days.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says Conservative legislator Nadhim Zahawi oversees the country’s largest vaccination program in decades.

The UK drug regulator is currently testing two vaccines – one developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, the other by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca – to make sure they are safe and effective. The Guardian newspaper reported that hospitals were told they could receive the first dose of Pfizer in the week of December 7 if approved.

According to the UK, frontline health workers and those living in nursing homes are vaccinated first, followed by older people, starting with those over 80 years of age.

Britain has ordered 40 million doses of Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, enough for 20 million people, and 100 million doses of Oxford / AstraZeneca.

In total, the UK government has agreed to buy up to 355 million doses of vaccine from seven different manufacturers as it prepares to vaccinate as many of the country’s 67 million people as possible.

The Regulatory Agency for Independent Medicines and Healthcare Products decides which vaccine to authorize.

According to Pfizer and BioNTech, their vaccine is 95% effective, according to preliminary data. Store at extremely cold temperatures around minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 94 Fahrenheit).

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored at the temperature of a traditional refrigerator and is also cheaper than its main rivals. But some scholars have questioned the shortcomings of the reported results.

Oxford and AstraZeneca reported this week that their vaccine appeared to be 62% effective in people who received two doses, and 90% effective when volunteers received a half dose and then a full dose. It was said that half the dose was given due to a manufacturing defect and a new clinical trial was planned to examine the most effective dosing regimen.

The UK government hopes the combination of vaccinations and mass testing will eliminate the need for restrictions on business and everyday life that it has introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Britain had the deadliest COVID-19 epidemic in Europe, with more than 57,000 confirmed virus deaths.

The prime minister said this week that officials hope to “vaccinate” the vast majority of people in need of protection by Easter. But he warned that “we have to get through the difficult winter first” from the restrictions.

A four-week England nationwide engagement in England will end on Wednesday, replaced by three-step regional measures restricting business, travel and social life. The vast majority of the country is classified into the top two levels.

The restrictions sparked protests, with police arresting a large number of people on Saturday in London in protest against the closure.

Numerous bottles and smoke bombs were dropped while anti-mask and anti-vaccination protesters confused officers in the city’s West End shopping district. According to the Metropolitan Police, 155 people were arrested.

Johnson also faces action by dozens of lawmakers in his own Conservative Party who say the economic damage outweighs the public health benefits.

Michael Gove, the bur cabinet minister, said the restrictions were “grimly” needed to avoid overburdening the health care system this winter.

According to Gove, written in The Times of London, there are currently 16,000 coronavirus patients in British hospitals, just below the April 20,000 peak. An increase in infections would mean that coronavirus patients “displace everything except emergencies. And then even those. “- He told.

“However, if we can keep the level of infection stable, or better yet, reduce it and persevere until January and February, we can be sure that vaccination will pull out the problem,” Gove wrote.