British is laying the groundwork for mass immunisation of its population as and when a COVID-19 vaccine is approved and ready for human use.
Such a vaccine can be rolled out for a large section of the population in Britain in just three months, according to scientists working for the government.
This could be achieved by setting up temporary drive-through vaccination centres and drafting in the services of the armed forces besides deploying a large number of health workers for the vaccination programme, The Times reported.
Related News: India’s COVID-19 death toll crosses one lakh
A vaccine being developed by Oxford University in association with pharma major Astra Zeneca is in advanced stages of human trials. Researchers and government scientists are hoping that the vaccine could be approved by regulators before the beginning of the next year. If that happens, it could become the first global vaccine for Covid-19 to be approved.
The vaccine is undergoing trials in India too. The Pune-based Serum Institute of India has tied up with AstraZeneca for mass production of the vaccine candidate once it is approved.
Russia has given approval to a vaccine it has called Sputnik V. Experts, however, have doubts about the efficacy of the vaccine saying its approval was rushed through and that it has not been tested on a sufficient number of people to prove its effectiveness.
According to government officials in the UK, the whole population of the country, excluding children, can be immunised in just six months, a lot quicker than what many experts have suggested. The UK government had earlier announced that it would be training a large workforce to administer a Covid-19 vaccine as part of efforts to be prepared for the rollout.
In an attempt to expedite the approval process, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has said it is reviewing data on the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine candidate in real time.
The UK has reported over 6.3 lakh Covid cases with the death toll standing at over 42,000. In India, coronavirus cases are nearing 65 lakh and fatalities have crossed 1 lakh.