In total, the United Kingdom has ordered 357 million doses of seven different COVID-19 vaccines.
On Tuesday, the UK will start using the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech and become the first Western country to start vaccinating its population.
The UK is the most affected European country by COVID-19, with more than 61,000 people dying from the virus. Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes to turn the tide on the virus by starting using the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine earlier than in the United States or the European Union.
“The use of this vaccine marks a turning point in the fight against the pandemic,” said Simon Stevens, Director General of the National Health Service (NHS). “NHS staff are proud to be the first health service in the world to start vaccination.”
The UK has already ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Since each person needs two doses, this is enough to vaccinate 20 million people in a country of 67 million people. In total, the United Kingdom ordered 357 million doses of seven different COVID-19 vaccines.
About 800,000 doses are expected to be available in the first week, with the priority being to get them in nursing homes, people over 80, and some health care workers.