(CMR) An 82-year-old man became the first person to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in the UK.
Brian Pinker, a dialysis patient, received the vaccine Monday morning, January 4, at Oxford's Churchill Hospital.
More than half a million doses of the vaccine were ready for use on Monday.
Mr. Pinker said he was happy to receive the first vaccine as he looked forward to getting back to a normal life. He said,
“The vaccine means everything to me, to my mind it is the only way to get back to normal life.”
The new vaccine was rolled out on Monday as the UK continues to deal with the rapid spread of COVID-19.
There have been more than 50,000 new COVID-19 cases for six days in a row, with 54,990 new cases reported on Sunday. This continued surge in the number of cases has prompted a call for a third national lockdown.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was expected to announce tighter restrictions Monday evening.
Meantime, AstraZeneca promised to supply hundreds of millions of doses of the vaccine, which is significantly cheaper than other approved vaccines, to low and middle-income countries.
The vaccine is also expected to be more readily available outside hospital settings as it is easier to transport and store.