Britain began using the “AstraZeneca-Oxford” vaccine, today, Monday, to be the first country to use this vaccine against the Coronavirus, and while countries race to vaccinate their citizens, US President Donald Trump doubts the official outcome of the epidemic in his country.
In Churchill Hospital in Oxford (northwest London), this morning, the first dose of the vaccine developed by the British AstraZeneca Group, in cooperation with the University of Oxford, was given to a retired named Brian Pinker (82 years old) suffering from kidney problems.
A first batch of this vaccine, consisting of 530,000 doses, was distributed to hospitals and public medical centers out of an order of 100 million doses.
Since the beginning of last month, more than a million people in Britain have received doses of the American-German vaccine, Pfizer-BioNTech, and officials expect that two million people will soon be vaccinated per week.
British Health Minister Matt Hancock described the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine as safe and effective, and described the epidemiological situation in his country as difficult, indicating that the government is considering imposing a new lockdown nationwide.
And Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that he expects millions of vaccinations against the virus during the next three months, likely to impose tighter restrictions, including closing schools after recording more than 50,000 infections for several consecutive days.
The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is described as less expensive and easier to store, to be more adaptive to large-scale vaccination campaigns compared to the vaccines Moderna and Pfizer-Bionic, which have been licensed and distributed in several countries, especially the United States.
According to figures published by laboratories producing vaccines, the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is 70% effective, and the percentage may rise to 100%, after receiving two doses of it, while Pfizer-Biontech is 95% effective, Moderna 94.1%, and Chinese Sinopharm 79% .
And in the United States, which is witnessing a vaccination campaign that has been criticized for its slow pace, outgoing President Donald Trump has questioned official figures about the number of deaths and HIV infections in his country.
And he said – in a tweet on Twitter – that the number of infections and deaths in what he described as the “Chinese virus” is greatly exaggerated in the United States, according to which official figures indicate that the number of infections in it exceeded 21 million, including 360 thousand deaths, according to the latest statistics published by the site World Meter.
Trump attributed this to what he described as the absurd method adopted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, compared to other countries, in determining deaths and injuries.
In another tweet, the president stated that the federal government is delivering vaccines to states faster than they can be provided.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, responded to the outgoing president’s questioning of the official tally, by asserting that these numbers are real.
Fauci said in an interview with the “ABC” network that medical staff have been overworked due to the continuing Corona pandemic, noting that hospital beds are witnessing a great shortage in various parts of the country.
With regard to the ongoing vaccination campaign in the United States, Fauci stressed that the campaign is accelerating, and he expected to reach one million million doses per day, considering that the goal set by President-elect Joe Biden’s administration to vaccinate 100 million people in the first percent is achievable.
He expressed his belief that herd immunity could be achieved by the end of next summer in the event that an average of at least one million doses per day was reached, and that the vaccine would start to be administered to the rest of the population at the end of March or early April.
In the same context and in France, the President of the Public Authority for Health said today that she expects her country to receive this week the first batches of the Moderna vaccine.
For his part, a government advisor said today that the real test is that between 5 and 100 million people will be vaccinated by next March.
In Germany, more than 238,000 people have received the anti-corona vaccine since last Sunday.
Simultaneous vaccination campaigns began late last month in the countries of the European Union, and were preceded by countries such as China and Russia.
On the other hand, India yesterday granted the green light for the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine and a local vaccine.
In Japan – which brought the date of vaccinations to February instead of March – Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said today that this week he will declare a state of emergency in Tokyo and 3 neighboring provinces, in light of the acceleration of the outbreak of the Corona virus, as the country recorded a record number a few days ago. 4 thousand injuries.
Suga announced his determination to organize the Olympic Games as scheduled in July, stressing that preparations are continuing.
In Thailand, which imposed tighter restrictions to contain the outbreak of the epidemic, government officials said that their country will receive the first batch of vaccines in February.
As for South Africa, which has been hard hit by the second wave of the epidemic, it hopes to get the first vaccines next month.