LONDON (AP) – The UK government plans to give the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine to every adult by September as the country’s health care system battles the worst crisis in its 72 – year history.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Robb on Sunday said the government would soon begin an investigation into clock injection in some places as it continues to add more vaccine sites to increase the speed of distribution. The National Health Service opened a mass vaccination center Saturday in historic Salisbury Cathedral where injections were accompanied by organ music.
“Our goal is to deliver the first dose to all adult people by September,” he told Sky News. “It’s better if we can do it faster, but it’s a road map.”
There are more than 51 million adults in the UK out of a population of 67.5 million.
The ambitious vaccination program comes amid pressure from the National Health Service. Already stumbled hospitals allow another COVID-19 patient every 30 seconds, which keeps the service at the most dangerous level ever, said NHS UK CEO Simon Stevens.
“The facts are very clear, I’m not going to sugar code them. Hospitals are under a lot of pressure, staff are under a lot of pressure,” he told the BBC. “Since Christmas Day, hospitals across the UK have seen an increase of 15,000 patients, equivalent to filling 30 hospitals full of corona virus patients.”
As doctors and nurses fight the highly contagious variant of the corona virus, Britain’s health care system is staggering.
The increase in infections has raised the number of hospital admissions with COVID-19 to 37,475, 73% higher than the first peak of the epidemic in April. Britain has recorded 88,747 corona virus-related deaths, the fifth highest in the world, more than any other country in Europe.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered the UK to its third national lockout on January 2, in an effort to slow the spread of the virus and protect the NHS, Stevens said, adding that now 50,000 workers have been laid off due to COVID-19 infections and exposure isolation.
The government says it will not reconsider locking measures until mid-February, when it plans to provide at least one dose of the vaccine to everyone over the age of 70, as well as to leading health workers and others particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
Once that goal is reached, the UK will vaccinate everyone over the age of 50 before everyone over the age of 18 goes.
Unlike other countries, the UK has chosen to extend the time between vaccinations from 21 days to 12 weeks – as a result more people will get at least one dose faster.
The UK has approved three vaccines: Pfizer-Bioendech, Oxford-Astrogeneca and Moderna. The first two are already in use, while moderna sizes are not expected until spring.
Meanwhile, vaccination centers are opening in some of the largest cathedrals in the country in the UK. Salisbury Cathedral, which contains a copy of the Magna Carta, opened its best way to the public. If the rollout continues others will follow.
Elemental music was played as jabs were delivered in Salisbury. Requests were taken.
“I doubt if anyone has a jab in an environment that is more beautiful than this, so I hope it makes it easier for people when they come into the building,” said the Salisbury Dean Very Rev. Said Nicholas Papadopoulos.
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