As U.S. health authorities continue examining the proposed COVID-19 vaccines, residents in the United Kingdom — the first Western country to issue approval for emergency use — are set to receive their first shots as early as this week.
But quickly vaccinating as many people as possible in the U.K. will pose enormous logistical challenges — from keeping the doses frozen to figuring out how to methodically and fairly distribute the vaccine across the nation of 68 million.
The first batch of the vaccine created by Pfizer and the German company BioNTech arrived in the U.K. last week. Doses are scheduled to be delivered to hospitals beginning Monday. Nursing home residents, health care workers and people age 80 and over will be first in line.
Across England, 50 hospitals have been chosen as hubs to administer the vaccine, the BBC reported. The government has initially ordered 40 million doses, which will vaccinate 20 million people. The National Health Service has said that more hubs will be set up as more doses arrive.
In addition to the U.K., Bahrain has also approved Pfizer’s vaccine. On Friday, the Middle Eastern country became just the second nation in the world to issue an emergency use authorization, its state news agency reported.
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