UK: Dialysis patient, 82, first to get Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

The United Kingdom began inoculating its citizens with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 on Monday, giving the shot to Brian Pinker, an 82-year-old dialysis patient, at a hospital a few hundred metres away from where the vaccine was developed.

Pinker, a retired maintenance manager, paid tribute to the scientists who had developed the shot, saying he was looking forward to celebrating his wedding anniversary.

The United Kingdom began inoculating its citizens with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 on Monday, giving the shot to Brian Pinker, an 82-year-old dialysis patient, at a hospital a few hundred metres away from where the vaccine was developed.

Pinker, a retired maintenance manager, paid tribute to the scientists who had developed the shot, saying he was looking forward to celebrating his wedding anniversary.

Since December 8, the NHS has been giving out shots from a vaccine made by Pfizer and the German firm BioNTech to healthcare workers and nursing home residents and staff.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is cheaper and easier to use, since it does not require the super-cold storage needed by the Pfizer vaccine.

Officials say the UK has about 530,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on hand and is moving towards a goal of vaccinating two million people a week as soon as possible.

In a shift from practices in the US and elsewhere, the UK plans to give people second doses of both vaccines within 12 weeks of the first shot rather than within 21 days, to accelerate immunisations across populations as quickly as possible.

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