Great Britain is the first country to begin mass coronavirus vaccination.
90-year-old Margaret Keenan is the first person in the
world to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Thousands like her were vaccinated on
Tuesday, on the first day of Britain's vaccination rollout. With 62,000
coronavirus-related deaths, the highest such figure in Europe, Great Britain
becomes the first country in the world to deliver a coronavirus vaccine, namely
that developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. The first in line to receive the vaccine
are elderly people over the age of 80 and healthcare workers. Britain has
ordered 40 million doses.
In the United States, president elect Joe Biden
promised an ambitious vaccination programme, while outgoing president Donald
Trump signed an executive order giving priority to Americans to the vaccines developed
by American pharmaceutical companies. Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson
are among the most advanced companies producing or about to produce coronavirus
vaccines. France Presse news agency notes that the rest of the world must rely on
European pharmaceutical producers. In the European Union, the European
Commission has already approved a number of contracts to purchase hundreds of millions
of vaccines. The European Council unanimously approved new measures to allow
member states to put in place a temporary VAT exemption on Covid-19 vaccines
and testing kits sold to hospitals, medical practitioners and individuals.
Meanwhile, Romania has designated around 900
vaccination centres around the country where immunisation can begin next year. Around
300 are located in hospitals and 600 in other venues. The exact number of
vaccination centres will be finalised this week. According to Romania's vaccination
strategy, the first to receive the vaccine are healthcare workers, followed by at-risk
groups, the personnel working in the critical infrastructure of the state and, finally,
the general population.
The World Health Organisation says 51 potential vaccines
are undergoing human trials, three of them being in an advanced stage, namely
those produced by Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford and AstraZeneca. (CM)