It’s been dubbed “V-Day” in Britain, recalling the D-Day landings in France that marked the start of the final push in World War II to defeat Nazi Germany, per the AP. A week after the UK became the first Western country to authorize widespread use of a vaccine against COVID-19, it is preparing to administer its first shots on Tuesday in its war on the virus. Those 800,000 doses will first go to people over 80 who are either hospitalized or already have outpatient appointments scheduled, along with nursing home workers. In other words, the National Health Service is saying to the waiting public, in effect: Don't call us, we'll call you. Only those who have been contacted by the NHS to arrange an appointment will be getting the jab.
“I don’t think people should expect anything over the next few days because the reality is … that for the vast, vast, vast majority of people this will be done in January, February, March," says Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers. “And the one thing that we don’t want people to get anxious about or concerned about is ‘Where’s my letter?’ in December.” The first shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were delivered to a selected group of UK hospitals on Sunday, and this particular vaccine has to be stored at minus-94 degrees Fahrenheit. Buckingham Palace refused to comment on reports that Queen Elizabeth II, 94, and her 99-year-old husband, Prince Philip, would be vaccinated and the action publicized in an effort to show that there was nothing to fear from the jab. (US approval of the first vaccine might come this week.)