More than 130,000 individuals took COVID-19 vaccine jabs in the first week of the UK’s vaccination program.

Minister Nadhim Zahawi, MP and Minister for Business & Industry and COVID Vaccine Deployment, who is in charge of vaccine rollout, tweeted 137,897 people had been given their first doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech jab between 8 and 15 December.

He said it is a “really good start” for the program, the figure only captures the start of the community vaccination program by GPs.

BBC reports, 200 local vaccination clinics are expected to be running by the end of the week and will be followed by 1,000 other clinics in the coming week.

About 25 million people in the United Kingdom, younger adults and over 50 with health conditions will be offered a vaccine, and extra staff would be needed to give vaccine jabs at that scale.

Hospitals and GP-run local clinics would not be able to conduct this on their own, but the British government had worked “quickly and effectively” to secure access to vaccines, BBC reported.

The total cost of the vaccination program including contracts, manufacturing, purchasing, and delivery of doses could cost up to £12bn.

More than 70 hospitals have taken part in the vaccination program, and another 10 will be part of it this week.

“Transparency is vital as we deliver vaccines across the UK. For now, these figures are provisional. From next week, we will begin to publish weekly figures on the number of vaccines administered”, Zahawi added.

As the vaccine needs to be kept in ultra-cold storage, NHS had been waiting on how they can safely shift vaccines to care homes.

Priority groups, care-home residents, have just started receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Reuters said, US president-elect Joe Biden is expected to receive his first coronavirus vaccination as soon as next week, Biden stressed over getting the vaccine jab in a public setting to instill confidence in its safety.

78-year-old Biden is at high-risk category for the COVID-19 due to his age.

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  • Mohammad Haroon Alim holds a BBA degree from Kardan University. He works as a sub-editor for Khaama Press.