Sussex hospital among first in world to receive Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine
A Sussex hospital has become one of the first in the world to receive the Oxford AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine.
Deliveries of the life-saving jab arrived at Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath on Saturday, according to NHS England.
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, said: “The NHS’ biggest vaccination programme in history is off to a strong start, thanks to the tremendous efforts of NHS staff who have already delivered more than one million jabs.
“Throughout the pandemic their response has been phenomenal from introducing world-leading treatments for coronavirus which have saved patients’ lives as well as delivering the very first COVID-19 vaccines outside of a trial in a landmark moment in history, and now rolling out the new Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, chalking up another world first that will protect thousands more over the coming weeks.”
This morning, January 4, the first people in the world recieved the Oxford jab.
Brian Pinker, 82, was vaccinated this morning at Oxford University Hospital (OUH) and Professor Andrew Pollard, a paediatrician working at OUH who also pioneered the Oxford jab, was among the first to be vaccinated.
Professor Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial, added: “It was an incredibly proud moment for me to have received the actual vaccine that the University of Oxford and the AstraZeneca teams have worked so hard to make available to the UK and the world.
“As a paediatrician specialising in infections, I know how important it is that healthcare workers along with other priority groups are protected as soon as possible – a crucial role in defeating this terrible disease.”
Last week, regulators and the four UK chief medical officers announced that the gap between first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine should be lengthened so that more people can be protected faster.
Delivery of the Pfizer jab, the first vaccine to be approved, is therefore also now able to be accelerated.
The NHS has now vaccinated more people than anywhere else in Europe, including more than one in five people over the age of 80.
The new Oxford vaccine is easier to transport and store than the Pfizer jab, which has to be kept at minus 70 degrees until shortly before it is used, making it easier to deliver in care homes.
The NHS is giving GPs an extra £10 for every care home resident that they vaccinate by the end of the month.