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Pfizer vaccine rolls out in the United Kingdom

COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 4:57 PM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-08 18:57:54-05

Today marks a historic day with the first person, a 90-year-old woman from Northern Ireland, became the first to be inoculated with the authorized vaccine from Pfizer and Biontech.

"Hopefully it will help other people come along," said Maggie, the vaccine recipient.

Maggie was closely followed by William Shakespeare from Warwickshire. They, alongside thousands more elderly over the age of 80, are the first in line for the vaccine.

The UK has the highest death toll from COVID-19 in Europe and after a difficult year fighting the pandemic, a troubled test and trace program, and the Prime Minister himself falling seriously ill from the virus, Britain is celebrating a world first.

"It's amazing to see the vaccine come out, to see this tremendous shot in the arm for the entire nation, but we can't afford to relax," said Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister.

Operation Courageous is rolling out in 70 hospitals across the UK since large treatment centers have the ultra-cold freezers needed to keep the vaccine at -94 degrees. Britain has 80,000 doses, enough to vaccine 400,000 people in the initial phase.

The vaccine requires two doses, both spaced 21 days apart, with full immunity guaranteed seven days after the second dose. The National Health Service and recruiting and training tens of thousands of extra staff and volunteers to help administer the injections.

The British government hopes that more than 50 million people will get vaccinated.