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An 82-year-old British man on Monday became the first person in the world to get the controversial COVID-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
Brian Pinker, a dialysis patient who was born and bred in Oxford, got the jab at 7:30 a.m. as the UK rolled out the latest vaccine, one the US has yet to approve amid questions over mistakes made during testing.
“I am so pleased to be getting the COVID vaccine today and really proud that it is one that was invented in Oxford,” Pinker said, according to the UK’s National Health Service.
“I can now really look forward to celebrating my 48th wedding anniversary with my wife Shirley later this year.”
Oxford University Hospital’s chief nursing officer Sam Foster administered the shot, calling it a “real privilege” to give it “just a few hundred meters from where it was developed.”
The head of the vaccine’s trial, Professor Andrew Pollard, was among the first group who got the shot Monday, calling it “an incredibly proud moment.”
The AstraZeneca/Oxford jab has been hailed for several key advantages over other vaccines. It is cheaper and can be more easily stored and transported because it does not need to be kept in ultra-cold temperatures.
However, it is unlikely to get approval in the US until April at the earliest as regulators awaiting further studies, according to Operation Warp Speed’s chief scientist.
The jab’s research team had admitted to accidentally under-dosing during the trials, which produced the best results — but raised further questions over the relatively small size and young age of those getting that dose.