Pfizer and BioNTech to offer COVID vaccine to volunteers who got placebo

Grant Boone
January 9, 2021

Doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and United Kingdom -based drugmaker AstraZeneca are logged by a technical officer, as they arrive at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath, England on Saturday.

Britain started the new drive with 530,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, as it struggled to control a severe wave of infections that has threatened to overwhelm the public health system and prompted the government to warn tougher curbs can be expected.

Brian Pinker, a kidney disease patient on dialysis at Oxford's Churchill hospital, was the first to receive the jab on Monday morning.

"World Health Organization is a welcome addition to the regulatory approvals and therefore, that should be a lot easier for our own FDA to review all the documents and assess the risk benefit ratio of the said candidate vaccine", Duque said.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News it was a "big British success story, starting today".

"It's a vital step in our fight against this pandemic", he said.

The tweak in vaccine advice, which comes as the country grapples with a new, highly contagious mutation of the virus, marks a surprising departure from previous guidance - and a starkly different approach to the vaccine rollout in the U.S., the New York Times reported.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who spent several days in intensive care with Covid earlier this year, called it "truly fantastic news" and "a triumph for British science".

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Which is "essentially to get out and start a new life". "He has asserted his own identity". He added: "As brothers you have good days and bad days".

Vaccinations were also under way in Europe, while thousands lined up in Beijing to receive shots as Chinese authorities raced to inoculate millions ahead of the Lunar New Year mass travel season in February.

Sam Foster, chief nursing officer at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who administered the vaccine to Mr Pinker, said: "It was a real privilege to be able to deliver the first Oxford vaccine at the Churchill Hospital here in Oxford, just a few hundred metres from where it was developed".

"We are in productive discussions with the European Commission on how to make more of our vaccine in Europe, for Europe", a spokeswoman said. Overall, Britain has now had more than 2.6 million confirmed cases. It started vaccinations in August and has inoculated more than 100,000 people so far. So the government can concentrate on more people can having just the first dose that still offers high levels of protection.

"We are testing whether our vaccine can also neutralise this variant and will soon know more", he said.

Troubling reports have emerged of vaccines going bad due to poor organisation, lack of healthcare professionals to administer them or, in one isolated case, sabotage.

Pfizer and BioNTech's messenger RNA vaccine was found to be 95 percent effective after two doses 21 days apart.

Singapore said on Monday it will consider relaxing travel restrictions for people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, including for those planning to visit the city-state for the World Economic Forum in May.

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