The Churchill Hospital in Oxford became the first in the UK to administer the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. 82 year-old Brian Pinker was the first to receive the initial dose on Monday morning, in another landmark moment in the fight against Covid-19.

The long-awaited Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was delivered to Oxfordshire hospitals on Sunday, after approval by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The rollout should provide relief to many Oxfordshire residents, as a recent rise in cases led to the county being placed into Tier 4 restrictions.

The Oxford vaccine, whose providers have pledged will be not-for-profit for the duration of the pandemic, is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus). 

Due to this work, there have been calls from Oxford’s Green Party to award those behind the vaccine the ‘Freedom of the City’, an award given to those who Oxford Council believe to have “rendered eminent services to the city.”

An Oxford University press release states the vaccine is very safe because the virus present in it “has been genetically changed so that it is safe and impossible for it [coronavirus] to grow in humans”. They also say it is “easily manufactured, transported and stored at domestic fridge temperature”. This allows “for the vaccine to be deployed very rapidly.”

Oxford University has been approached for further comment on the roll out of the vaccine.

Molayo is a Christian and musician outside his studies and role as Senior News Editor. He likes to write on a range of topics, from Oxford news to international affairs. Having grown up in London, he has grown up amidst diversity and is a strong advocate of letting all voices be heard.