Vaccination against the novel coronavirus in the UK will be optional. This was announced on Monday by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson at a press conference.
“Vaccination will not be compulsory. However, we recommend that everyone gets vaccinated against the coronavirus. There are currently many people who oppose vaccines. We want to tell them that vaccination helps protect not only themselves but also their family and friends. “— said the head of the British government.
At the same time, he clarified that the authorities of the kingdom plan to vaccinate most of the British who are at high risk of contracting coronavirus by Easter, which will be celebrated in the country on April 4. “We need to be able to vaccinate most of those in need by Easter,” Johnson said.
The Prime Minister made a corresponding statement against the background of the publication of preliminary results of clinical trials of a vaccine developed by Oxford University and the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. They show that the average effectiveness of the drug was 70%. In trials conducted on 20,000 volunteers from the United Kingdom and Brazil, it was found that when two equally large doses of the vaccine were given every month, the level of protection against infection was 62%. It increased to 90% when the subjects first received a small dose, and then, with a second injection, an increased dose of the drug.
As the director of the Jenner Institute in Oxford, Adrian Hill, emphasized earlier, the Oxford vaccine may receive approval for use from the British regulator in the very near future, which will make it possible to start vaccination of the population in December 2020. The UK government has pre-ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine from this manufacturer, which is enough to immunize 50 million people.
In total, over 55.2 thousand people have died in the UK due to coronavirus, which is the highest figure in Europe. The number of infected in the kingdom on Monday exceeded 1.52 million.