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UK first in world to start using Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

Virus Outbreak Britain Vaccine astrazeneca
Posted at 7:16 AM, Jan 04, 2021

LONDON (AP) — The U.K. has become the first country in the world to start using the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and drugmaker AstraZeneca.

It is ramping up a nationwide vaccination program as rising infection rates are putting an unprecedented strain on British hospitals.

Brian Pinker, an 82-year-old dialysis patient, received the first shot at Oxford University Hospital. The U.K. is in the midst of an acute outbreak, recording more than 50,000 new coronavirus infections a day over the past six days.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says tougher restrictions will be announced soon as Britain struggles to control a new, more contagious virus variant.