Margaret Keenan, who turns 91 next week, has received what she calls “an early birthday present; the first of 800,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. She has been self-isolating alone since March, and was pleased get the job.
At this initial phase the elderly, vulnerable and NHS staff have been given priority. The effects of the vaccine are expected to kick in 12 days after administration, and Margaret and everyone else receiving the jab will have another dose in three weeks. Full immunity can be expected a month after the first dose. In the meantime people are being asked to stick to the rules.
The scientists say life might start to go back to normal by April. The British government is touting this as a success for the United Kingdom; being the first to approve a vaccine. In an interview Tuesday morning Health Secretary Matt Hancock broke down.
However, diminishing trust in the government has led to a lot of skepticism about the vaccine. According to the largest survey of UK attitudes and behavior during the pandemic.
A critical mass of people will have to get the jab over the coming weeks and months for it to work. The UK government hasn’t made the vaccine mandatory, so it will have an uphill job convincing the majority that the vaccine is safe and effective.