The first jab went to 82-year-old dialysis patient Brian Pinker at Oxford University Hospital, according to NHS England. Pinker said the vaccination brought peace of mind as he looks forward to celebrating his 48th wedding anniversary with his wife Shirley in February.
The vaccine will be distributed to a limited number of hospitals for “surveillance purposes,” said to be standard practice, before a broader rollout to hundreds of general practitioners’ services later in the week.
The news comes as the U.K. battles an intense period of virus spread amid a mutated strain, logging over 50,000 new daily infections in recent days.
The kickstart of the vaccination program also comes amid talk of U.K. officials backing a decision to extend the period between Pfizer and Oxford’s two-dose vaccination regimen to 12 weeks, as opposed to three, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson also defending the idea.
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