THE first doses of the Pfizer vaccine have today been given to Brits, as the UK becomes the first in the world to roll out the jab.
Margaret Keenan, known as Maggie to friends, was the first the be vaccinated at 6.31am at Coventry Hospital, just a week before her 91st birthday.
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How to get the Pfizer Covid vaccine and who will get it first?
Britain is the first country to approve the Pfizer vaccine for use, and has already ordered 40million doses – meaning it can vaccinate 20million with the two-dose jab.
The Pfizer vaccine is known as an mRNA that uses a tiny fragment of genetic code from the virus and teaches the body how to fight Covid-19 and build immunity.
The government updated its guidelines towards the end of November this year on who will be prioritised in getting the jab.
The priority list was drawn up by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and will be handed out in order of priority based on clinical need.
Care home residents, workers, the over-80s and NHS workers will be first in the queue.
The jab will then be rolled out by age, and also to those deemed clinically extremely vulnerable.
Where do I go to get the Pfizer Covid vaccine?
The first doses of the Pfizer jab will be given to hundreds of patients at around 50 hospital hubs across the UK from December 8.
Each has received an initial tray of 975 doses, which is stored at -70C and must be used within days of opening.
The first doses are being given to people over 80 who are already in NHS hospitals and those with outpatient appointments already booked.
Any leftover doses will be given to high-risk NHS staff, so as not to waste the vaccine.
Up to 48,750 people could get their first jab by the end of this week. Recipients will need two doses, 21 days apart.
More centres will be opened in the weeks and months ahead as more supplies arrive.
GPs are expected to start vaccinating patients from next week, while Matt Hancock said it's hoped doses will be delivered for use in care homes by Christmas.
The UK has ordered 40million doses – enough to vaccine 20million peoplein total – with four million expected by the end of this year.
It is given as two injections, 21 days apart, with the second dose being a booster.
The vaccine must be stored at around -70C and will be transported in special boxes, packed in dry ice.
Once delivered, it can be kept for up to five days in a fridge.
Soldiers have been ordered to transform 10 sites, including London's Nightingale hospital at the Excel Centre and Epsom race course, into vaccination hubs.
There will also be a mass vaccination site in every big city with 1,000 smaller venues across England including GP surgeries, pharmacies and health clinics, it has been reported.
How effective is the Pfizer Covid vaccine?
The Pfizer vaccine offers up to 95 per cent protection against the Covid-19 virus.
British regulator, the MHRA, says it is safe to roll out.
Brits have been warned though they still need to observe the coronavirus restrictions and to remain vigilant about the spread of the virus.
Until the jab, which has been tested on around 30,000 people across the world, is given to many more people, it's not known if it will be able to stop transmission of the virus.
The rules still state social distancing must be observed, masks worn and people need to isolate if they test positive.
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