London (dpa) – News of vaccine approval from Biontech and its UK partner Pfizer has celebrated the London government as a success story. However, getting the vaccinations should be a real challenge.
As Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced, residents of nursing homes, medical staff, the elderly and those at health risk will be vaccinated first. However, only the storage of the vaccine is complicated. It must be kept at minus 70 degrees. The protective effect of the vaccine does not develop until after a second vaccination dose. “It will inevitably take a few months for everyone most at risk to be protected – long, cold months,” Johnson said.
In the next week, 800,000 vaccine doses should be available. Millions will follow before the turn of the year. More population groups will be vaccinated from the spring of next year.
The vaccinations will initially be administered to 50 clinics in the country, says Simon Stevens of the UK’s NHS (National Health Service) health service. GP practices will be added later. Initially, however, only copies with 975 cans are available. Once a way has been found to safely divide the vaccination doses into smaller units, the vaccination in nursing homes can begin. Those belonging to the groups designated for the vaccination will receive notification by mail, Stevens said.
The so-called mRNA vaccine from Pfizer / Biontech has an effectiveness of around 95 percent, according to extensive test series, the manufacturers had announced. The vaccine works equally well for all age groups and other demographic differences and shows practically no serious side effects. The tests looked for protection against Covid’s disease 19.
At a press conference on Wednesday evening, Johnson praised the work of the vaccine developers. The prime minister said they have tackled the virus with “organic jiu jitsu”. As with the soft Asian martial art, which uses the strength of the opponent, they would have fought the virus on their own. The vaccine contains the blueprint for part of the pathogen.
In total, the UK has ordered 40 million doses of the now-approved vaccine. This can protect 20 million people because the drug must be administered twice. Great Britain has a population of almost 67 million. Approvals are also currently under investigation for the promising vaccine candidates from the US company Moderna, the University of Oxford and the pharmaceutical company Astrazeneca.