As the UK rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine gets underway, following on from the Pfizer/BioNTech version in December, many will be waiting impatiently for their chance to get a jab in the hope of seeing life return to normal after the waking nightmare that was 2020.
Approximately 53,000 doses of the Oxford vaccine have been rolled out to six hospital trusts in Oxford, Sussex, Lancashire, Warwickshire and two in London, with 700 GP-led local services and care homes next in line and tens of millions of batches due over the coming months.
Brian Pinker, an 82-year-old retired engineer, was the first recipient of the new treatment - which has a major advantage over its predecessor in that it does not require sub-zero storage - at the university city’s Churchill Hospital.
That followed the government last month ordering an initial 40m doses of the Pfizer vaccine – enough to administer the two-part treatment to 20m people – the first batch consisting of 800,000 doses, enabling the protection of 400,000 people across the country.
Margaret Keenan, 91, of Coventry became the first person in the world to receive that version on 8 December.
But if you’re feeling antsy, Omni’s Vaccine Queue Calculator is available to give you an approximate estimate of how long it will be before your number comes up.
The programme asks you to input your age and answer a few basic questions about your health and working conditions in return for a rough idea of your position in line.
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It is based on the UK government’s priority list but is otherwise independent and not affiliated with the NHS or the national vaccine rollout programme.
Whatever answer you recieve, patience is likely to remain the watchword, with the calculator currently operating on the base assumption that 1m vaccinations will be administered per week.
Covid-19 is clearly far from over, with the UK suffering more than 2.65m cases of the respiratory disease so far and over 75,000 deaths.
A further flare-up appears to be underway in the aftermath of Christmas, forcing Boris Johnson’s government to consider even tougher social restrictions and, possibly, a new national lockdown as suggested by his opposite number, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.