Britain’s Johnson visits hospital as Oxford vaccine rollout begins
Britain began vaccinating its population with Oxford University and AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot on Monday (January 4) in a world first, racing to give protection to the elderly and vulnerable as a new surge of cases threatened to overwhelm hospitals.
More than 75,000 people in the United Kingdom have died from COVID-19 within 28 days of a positive test, and millions in England are already living under the strictest tier of restrictions.
Visiting a London hospital where health workers were among the first to receive the vaccine, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said new restrictions were forthcoming.
“If you look at the numbers, there’s no question that we’re going to have to take tougher measures and we’ll be announcing those in due course,” Johnson said.
Johnson’s government has secured 100 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine which can be stored at fridge temperatures between two to eight degrees, making it easier to distribute than the Pfizer shot.
Six hospitals in England are administering the first of around 530,000 doses Britain has ready. The program will be expanded to hundreds of other British sites in coming days, and the government hopes it will deliver tens of millions of doses within months.