Published: 15:06, 04 January 2021
| Updated: 15:14, 04 January 2021
A GP is among the first to receive the Oxford University and AstraZeneca vaccine as it is rolled out across the UK.
Dr Manpinder Singh Sahota, of Pelham Medical Practice, Gravesend, has been inoculated as part of the vaccination programme for medics and frontline workers.
The first doses were administered earlier this week in what has been described as a “pivotal moment” in the UK’s fight against coronavirus by the Health Secretary.
Just over half a million doses of the newly approved vaccine were made available today with vulnerable groups and people aged over 80 in hospital the first in line for immunisation.
The UK has ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab which will be administered by a small number of hospitals and local vaccination centres.
"This is really exciting," said the doctor, who heralded the newly approved Covid-19 jab as hugely significant.
Reacting to the latest vaccine's approval, Dr Sahota pointed to the greater ease with which the new vaccine could be rolled out to patients.
GPs and local health services have been briefed to ensure care home residents in their local area are vaccinated by the end of January, according to the Department for Health and Social Care.
It comes almost a month after roll-out of the first approved Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine began, with more than one million people having now received their first dose.
Second doses of either vaccine will now take place within 12 weeks rather than the 21 days as was initially planned after a change in guidance which aims to accelerate the number of people receiving some level of immunisation amid a rise hospitalisation due to Covid-19.