The UK is now pinning its hopes on rapid immunization to enable life to start returning to some degree of normality by spring, with the government saying it is currently administering 200,000 vaccines a day.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said the country is on course to have immunized its most vulnerable people against COVID-19 by mid-February and offering a shot to every adult by autumn, with some two million already receiving the first dose.
For the government to meet its goal of vaccinating over 14 million people by mid-February, comprising the over-70s, the clinically vulnerable – the elderly or with pre-existing conditions – and health care workers, it needs to deliver two million shots a week.
With the U.S.-made Moderna vaccine now approved in the UK, health experts are optimistic this could make a difference.
The UK was the first to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines and hopes to begin administering Moderna shots this spring.