UK: First country to launch COVID-19 vaccine

Context in Current Affairs: The United Kingdom has become the first country to roll out the covid-19 vaccine in the world.  The British government recently rolled out the covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.

What is the plan?

More than 70 Hospital hubs in the United Kingdom are to inoculate people over 80 years. The vaccine is to be provided as two injections within a time gap of 21 days. The person administered with the vaccine will obtain complete immunity after seven days of the second dose.

Russia and China

China and Russia have started to provide vaccine to their population before even completing the final safety and efficacy trials.

COVID-19 vaccine

According to the World Health Organization, the average time taken for a vaccine to become publicly available till now has been 16 years. The vaccine that comes close to COVID-19 vaccine has been the mumps vaccine. The mumps vaccine took four years to get all necessary permissions and licensing.

Pfizer Vaccine

The Pfizer vaccine evaluated more than 94 COVID-19 infections among the 43,538 participants. The Pfizer vaccine uses mRNA technology. It has proved well above 50% of effectiveness as set by the US Food and Drug Administration for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Why is Oxford Vaccine better than the Pfizer vaccine?

The Oxford Vaccine showed better efficacy than the Pfizer vaccine. The Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech vaccine must be transported at negative 20 to 80 degree Celsius unlike Oxford vaccine. The Oxford vaccines can be refrigerated at normal two to eight degrees Celsius.

The Pfizer has to mandatorily distribute its vaccine in a specially designed “thermal shipper” that uses dry ice to maintain the negative eighty degrees Celsius.

Also, it was recently proved that half dose of Oxford vaccine is likely to give higher protection. This will make more doses available to the general public.

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