UK starts virus campaign with a shot watched round the world

90-year-old Margaret Keenan was administered a shot watched round the world, the first jab in the UK’s Covid 19 vaccination program kicking off an unprecedented global effort to try to end a pandemic that has killed 1.5 million people.

The UK is the first Western country to deliver a broadly tested and independently reviewed vaccine to the general public. The Covid 19 shot was developed by US drug maker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech. US and European Union regulators may approve it in the coming days or weeks.

However, authorities have warned that the vaccination campaign would take many months, meaning painful restrictions that have disrupted daily life and punished the economy are likely to continue. The UK has seen over 61,000 deaths in the pandemic, more than any other country in Europe, and has recorded more than 1.7 million confirmed cases.

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