Queen Elizabeth, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, are expected to be among the first to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, whose first consignment has arrived in the UK and is set to be administered first to those above the age of 80 from Tuesday.

Anti-vaccine claims on social media and elsewhere are among major obstacles faced by the UK’s health officials planning the biggest mass vaccination programme in the country’s history. Leading figures such as the British queen taking the Covid-19 vaccine is expected to help overcome anxieties.

The initial batch received from Belgium has 800,000 doses. The UK has ordered 40mn doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is enough to vaccinate 20mn people with two does, 21 days apart. It has also reached agreement for early access to over 300mn doses of other vaccines, when approved.

In China, local governments are placing orders for domestically made coronavirus vaccines. More than 1 million health care workers and others in China have received experimental vaccines under emergency use permission.

Pakistan: 7 Covid patients die as O2 supply runs out

At least seven patients admitted at a Covid-19 ward and at another ward of a hospital in Pakistan’s Peshawar died after oxygen supply at the hospital ran out. Khyber Teaching Hospital officials said that seven patients died overnight due to lack of oxygen supply.

A hospital spokesperson said that the hospital had the capacity to keep 10,000 litres of oxygen, which had been maintained on a daily basis. He said the oxygen supply was sourced from a company in Rawalpindi and supplies had run out after demand rose.

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