Mass Spectrometry & Spectroscopy

  • Are People Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Are People Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Jan 15 2021 Read 12763 Times

While there has been plenty of doubt swirling around the safety and efficacy of the new COVID-19 vaccines, the latest statistics suggest uptake is high among Brits who have been offered the inoculation. There were fears misinformation could hinder efforts to kickstart the vaccination program, with hurdles including the speed at which the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines have been developed. All three have now been approved for use in the UK, though many people continue to mistrust vaccines in general. There’s also widespread mistrust surrounding pharmaceutical companies, as well as the fact the vaccine is so heavily endorsed by the government.

Uptake high among Brits

Thankfully, public response to the vaccine rollout program has been positive, with chair of the Royal College of GPs Professor Martin Marshall commenting, “We’ve had reports from our members that despite inevitable teething problems – to be expected when delivering a completely new and complicated vaccine at scale and speed – the programme seems to be running well overall with very positive take-up rates, so far,” says Martin, a practicing GP in east London.

Dr Julia Patterson, founder and chief executive of grassroots movement EveryDoctor agrees, saying “I run a network of 26,000 doctors. The response so far has been overwhelmingly positive among those receiving the vaccine. Despite much disinformation online, the uptake is going well.”

UK aims to vaccinate entire population by autumn

On January 11th Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed 2.4 million people across the UK have received the vaccination. By mid-February, the country hopes to protect around 15 million people, including healthcare workers and over 70s. By autumn, the Johnson administration plans to administer the vaccine to a further 21 million people. Britain’s Chief Medical Adviser Professor Chris Whitty says the timeline is "realistic but not easy" and Johnson asserts success will call for an “unprecedented national effort”.

The country is currently relying on two different vaccines, the Pfizer-BioNTech produced in Belgium and the Oxford vaccine made in Britain. With the novel and highly transmissible variant quickly spreading across the UK, health experts stress the rollout of vaccines has never been more important. New government data suggests the country is about to raise the bar and equip healthcare workers with the capacity to inoculate up to 500,000 people a day by next week.

Next-generation laboratory equipment has been critical to the development of the COVID-19 vaccines. To find out more about the advanced Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy technology being used in laboratories around the world don’t miss ‘Benchtop NMR – Bringing New Access to Technology to the Next Generation of Scientists’.

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