350,000 people in the UK have received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine – PM

The prime minister has said 350,000 people in the UK have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, as his chief medical officer has suggested. -discharged.

Boris Johnson revealed the number of people who had received the first injection of the Pfizer / BioNtech vaccine at a press conference on Downing Street on Saturday.

Appearing with him, Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, said the release of a new variant of coronavirus was another “terrible” moment in the pandemic, but not “the worst.” ”Due to medical treatments and the spread of the vaccine.

Coronavirus - Monday, December 14, 2020
Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty at a media briefing (Tolga Akmen / PA)

He said: “Is this the worst time? Well I’m afraid there have been so many horrible times in this illness that this is another one.

“But I have to say that in my opinion this is not the worst time in epilepsy and that is why this virus is more susceptible and we need to do everything we can, and that which the Prime Minister has stated, keep it as limited as possible, keep it down as much as possible, so that it does not spread. “

Dr. said. Whitty: “We have medical medicines, we already have a vaccine distributed as the Prime Minister said so there are expectations, mostly in the medium term, where things could be much better.”

He acknowledged that the new strain would “make matters worse”, but there were “hopefuls” if the vaccine would work against it – something that was “a working assumption”.

In a statement issued earlier on Saturday, Professor Whitty said that “there is currently no evidence to suggest that the new pressure is causing a higher mortality rate or that it is ‘affecting vaccines and treatments’, but work was ongoing to confirm this.

At the press conference, he said that reducing the number of coronavirus cases across the country “will allow us to get the vaccine and protect the most vulnerable to escape. What we have is a barrier to the vaccine to protect them. ”

His comments came after former health secretary Jeremy Hunt warned that a stock of coronavirus vaccines could run out in late January if new ones such as the Oxford injection are not accepted.

Mr Hunt told the BBC’s program today on Saturday that the imminent adoption of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine would make a “huge difference” as Pfizer’s conventional stocks run out at the end of January. .

Mr Hunt’s comments come amid reports that the Oxford vaccine could be approved before the new year, with the Daily Telegraph reporting that key Whitehall sources believe it will be authorized by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on 28 or 29 December.

Mr Hunt, who also chairs the Health Select Committee, said the Oxford-AstraZenca vaccine will be approved by regulators before the end of the year will ensure the vaccine program is rolled out.

A government spokesman said millions more doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine will be available in the coming weeks.

Pfizer said shipments of the vaccine will arrive in the UK by March next year, with delivery on track and on track to its agreed schedule.

The chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Professor Martin Marshall, also said the coronavirus vaccination program will be rolled out in care homes if the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is approved by regulators.

But the MHRA said its review of the Oxford vaccine is still ongoing.

Around 200 GP-led vaccination clinics were expected to go up by the end of the week, with more to come.

To date, there are known to be 800,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the country, which is enough for 400,000 people.

In total, the UK has prescribed 40 million doses – enough to vaccinate 20 million people.

At the same time, the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine was prescribed for use in the U.S. by the nation’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The move marks the world’s first license for Moderna images, and the vaccine is very similar to one from Pfizer and the German BioNTech injection that is already being released.