On December 2, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was approved by regulators for use in Britain, paving the way for mass vaccinations to begin.
In a press conference on the evening of the approval, Boris Johnson announced that we have been waiting for a “searchlight of science” to “pick out our invisible enemy” but “now the scientists have done it”.
But who will receive the vaccine first?
It was revealed on December 4 that NHS front-line staff would no longer be prioritised for the coronavirus vaccine.
NHS staff were to be first in line for the jabs after it was deemed too difficult to get the vaccine to care homes. But amid the uncertainty over the number of doses the UK would receive by the end of the year, care homes were bumped back up the list.
Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, said that an initial 800,000 doses “could be the only batch we receive for some time”.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said the “bulk” of vaccine rollout would take place in 2021, with the Oxford/AstraZeneca version likely to considerably boost supply.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which advises ministers, had recommended that the vaccine should be prioritised for the the elderly and health workers.
The group have published their list of who they believe should get the vaccine first.
Explaining the priorities for who will get the vaccine, chairman of the JCVI Professor Wei Shen Lim said: “Vaccines are offered to protect people who are most at risk from dying of Covid-19, as well as to protect health and social care services, because by doing so we also protect lives.”
Professor Lim said age was the single most important factor in the estimated risk of mortality, and everyone in the country older than 50 will be vaccinated by the time the end of phase one.
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Van-Tam, suggested the priority list for vaccinations will cover 99 per cent of Covid-related deaths, meaning restrictions may then begin to come to an end.
“The vaccine appears to be safe and well-tolerated, and there were no clinically concerning safety observations,” according to the JCVI, which added that the data indicates it is highly effective across all age groups.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has also prioritised key workers in the queue for immunisation. Therefore, transport workers, first responders and teachers will be among the first to receive the jab in the second phase of the vaccine rollout.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said 800,000 doses of the jab will arrive next week, with millions more to follow. In total the UK has ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine, enough to vaccinate 20 million people.
But rolling it out will be a challenge, with NHS boss Simon Stevens describing it as the “largest scale vaccination campaign in our country’s history”.
Sir Simon Stevens also shared more about who would receive the second doses, saying they would be reserved for those getting the first dose in December.
Sir Simon said: “We need to be very careful through December and into January and then as vaccination expands to the wider population.”
He went on to add that a phasing of delivery would involve 50 ‘hospital hubs’ which will offer the jab from the week beginning December 7 to the over-80s, care home staff and others identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
The Chief Executive said patients are likely to be people who were scheduled to attend outpatient appointments, which will eventually be followed by over 1000 vaccination centres in due course.
Three modes of delivery
Mr Hancock said there would be “three modes of delivery” of the vaccine, with hospitals, mass vaccination centres and GPs and pharmacists offering the jab to those most in need.
He said: “Fifty hospitals across the country are already set up and waiting to receive the vaccine as soon as it’s approved, so that can now happen.
“Also vaccination centres, which will be big centres where people can go to get vaccinated. They are being set up now.
“There will also be a community rollout, including GPs and pharmacists.”
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer said the rollout would take “months, not weeks”, meaning it is essential to continue following the new tier system rules.
Professor Van-Tam said: “Nobody wants lockdown. But if you want that dream to come true as quickly as it can come true, then you have to take the vaccine when it is offered to you.”
The Armed Forces and NHS have begun urgent preperations for the centres have have been told they should be completed within a fortnight, according to sources.
Military personnel have been ordered to transform about 10 sites into vaccine hubs, including the Nightingale hospital at the London ExCel centre, Epsom racecourse, in Surrey, and Bristol’s Ashton Gate football stadium and Robertson House conference facility in Stevenage will serve the capital and south of England, according to sources.
Derby City Council leaders also confirmed the local authority is finalising arrangements for Derby Arena to be used as a vaccination centre.
Other locations being considered as possible venues include: The Black Country Living Museum, Millennium Point, parts of Malvern’s Three Counties’ Showground in Worcestershire and the Villa Park site, home of Aston Villa FC in the West Midlands, and Leicester racecourse in the East Midlands.
A mass rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations is also expected to start on December 9 in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
The vaccine will then also be rolled out to GPs and pharmacists that have the capacity to store the vaccine at the -70C it needs to stay effective.
In the response to criticism that the temperature of the vaccine would make it difficult to be issued around care homes, Professor Van-Tam argued that it was “extremely unfair when one considers a new virus emerged less than 12 months ago and we now have our first vaccine”.
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer continued: “This is a complex product. It is not a yoghurt that can be taken out of the fridge and put back in several times.”
However, the Scottish Health Secretary announced that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be delivered to care home residents in Scotland within a fortnight (December 14).
Jeane Freeman said talks held on December 3 had confirmed the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine can be transported in an unfrozen state for up to 12 hours, and can also be broken down into smaller packs in “certain conditions”.
Ms Freeman said this makes the vaccine “more useable with minimum wastage for care home residents and our older citizens”.
The National Care Forum said the only viable solution for care home residents is to get the jabs “over the threshold”.
A spokeswoman said: “It seems that the Scottish Government has come to a different conclusion and in fact intends to honour the prioritisation outlined by the JCVI and deliver the vaccine directly to Scottish care homes.
“It is not at all clear at this moment why the English Government is not pursuing this path.”
The NHS has been preparing for a mass vaccination programme for several weeks and could have up to 1,500 GP practices and drive-through centres ordered to open from 8am to 8pm every day, each dispensing at least 1,000 jabs a week.
Under the current plans, local clusters of about five practices covering approximately 50,000 patients, known as Primary Care Networks, will combine to organise vaccine delivery and the health service is hoping to immunise one million people per week.
Is It Beneficial Leasing an Airplane?
If you planned on getting yourself a private jet or a fleet of airplanes, then you know your case the best. Better than anyone else can guide you or teach you about the pros and cons.
Buying a jet is not something that you do every day when you wake up; for some, it is once in a lifetime, and for some, it is just a daily business that generates revenue. Suppose you are starting to fulfill your dreams and aspirations by buying a luxurious plane or starting a small airline company. In that case, this article will briefly take you through the famous question of ‘is it beneficial leasing an airplane?’
If you can buy an airplane or put up a loan sanction against it, you must take that road because there is no better feeling than ‘ownership’. But if you do not want to invest a big chunk of money into buying an airplane, the best way to enjoy the experience would be to lease it for a couple of years.
Most airline companies nowadays lease at least some of the jets that they have. There are technical aspects intermingled with it as the lease price of 10 aircraft would certainly be almost ten times lesser than the actual price clubbed together. You can quickly get yourself to save a great deal of money while leasing a couple of airplanes, especially if you are in the airline business.
Often, the leasing companies offer you the crew, pilots, insurance, and other benefits covered in your leasing agreement. So, you can always take that trip around the globe whenever you want, as you will always have a cabin crew ready to fly. On the other hand, if the lease does not offer the benefits, you will need to look elsewhere.
Thankfully, recruiting a pilot and other crew members is not that difficult, especially if you are looking to get them for a private jet. What you can do is seek some professional assistance to find the right crew. Aerospace Union Limited can point you in the right direction.
But, on the other hand, if you choose to loan or buy a plane of your own, you will have to figure out everything starting from the operational costs to the training of crew and even pilots, which becomes an arduous process least. If your requirements are singular and not frequent enough, it is better to lease an aircraft rather than fully fund it. Because who wants to let go of all the additional benefits that really come in handy along with the lease agreement!
Freedom of Use
With business airplane renting or personal luxury plane renting, it’s yours to do as you will inside the rent term. Inside legitimate and protection limits and any rent conditions, it’s dependent upon you where the airplane flies, when it flies, and how frequently you take a trip. The only limitations are climate conditions, air traffic rules, booked upkeep, and the accessibility of your pilots and group.
Personal luxury plane renting gives you admittance to a more extensive scope of air terminals than business trips through carriers. This can permit you to land nearer to your final destination, decreasing the time spent and extra efforts brought about by booking and voyaging through road transport like cabs, buses, etc.
Renting an airplane liberates you from the endless formality and holding up occasions included when taking business flights. There are more and more additional benefits and a bubbling sense of luxury that you will experience if you go ahead with the plan of leasing an aircraft!
Most aircraft leasing options come to you with a choice- own or not to own after the period ends. Although you keep on paying a regular sum for years on end, you can decide if you want to complete the remaining payments and own the jet or try your luck with a new fleet.
On most occasions, after 10-15 years, airplanes with more recent technologies are launched, which makes the decision of keeping the aircraft previously on lease a decision that isn’t much feasible for people. But, the entire availability of having a choice is all you need when you are getting yourself in an agreement with a party. You never know if you can extract more benefits from the same flights.
As you can see, the benefits of leasing an aircraft are supreme as they come with a lot of additional growth points. You can always ride your plane with ease and comfort whenever you want without having the burden of financing a considerable amount of money for an aviation unit that will probably be replaced with new technology in the next couple of years.
So, if you are someone who’s just buying the jet for meetings around the globe or just because they want to feel the luxury, then the best thing to do is to lease the aircraft without thinking much about it. So, are you ready to fly and up to reach your world of dreams with zero hassles?
5 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know
Your Product Should Fill a Need
Perhaps the number one rule of business is that your product or service should fill an existing need. And it should solve a problem in a better way than any existing product currently on the market. Do your research so you know what your competition is, and forge ahead.
42% of product launches don’t succeed because there is no need for the product or service. Can you think of examples of such failures?
- New Coke – Original Coke didn’t need to be improved so customers boycotted this new version.
- The Zune – Microsoft tried to compete with Apple iPod and failed to create a product better than what already existed.
- Google+ – Google attempted its own social media network, but became another example of a service that couldn’t outdo what was already available.
- Bic for Her – Women don’t need pens specifically designed for them, so this pen flopped.
- Hammacher Schlemmer’s Night Vision Camcorder – marketed toward children, this product doesn’t solve a practical problem; why do kids need to record things in the dark?
Sometimes a novelty product takes off because, although it’s impractical, it strikes a chord with customers. However, you may not want to take that risk! Your product or service should stand the test of time, and not just end up the gag gift at the next Holiday office party.
As soon as you have your idea, get started!
Research your brand or business name the right way to see if they’re already trademarked. Even if it will be a while before you launch, apply for the necessary permits and licenses now. Doing so will give you peace of mind while you secure funding or save your own money, develop a business plan, and work on your brand’s mission statement, slogan, and marketing strategy.
Keep it Simple
Your mission statement should be clear and concise. Everyone in your business should know what they’re working toward, and how to achieve it.
Examples of Mission Statements
A mission statement tells your employees and customers what your brand is all about. It should concisely share your brand values, your company’s actions, and your company’s objectives. It is not what you hope your company will become but, rather, what your company currently is. When drafting your mission statement, start by answering the following questions:
Mission statements are usually about three sentences long, and provide direction to your brand and its employees. Keep in mind that your mission statement should include attainable goals for your company, i.e. objectives you’re already working toward. Be sure to include inspirational messaging and personality without being cliche; avoid popular slang that may date your brand or phrases that don’t provide clear direction.
To get your creative juices flowing, here are some examples of mission statements that get the point across.
- To bring the best personal computing products and support to students, educators, designers, scientists, engineers, businesspersons, and consumers in over 140 countries around the world. – Apple
- Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. – Nike
- Offering all women and men worldwide the best of cosmetics innovation in terms of quality, efficacy, and safety. – L’Oreal
- To strengthen our position in the marketplace by developing high-quality relationships with our supplies and customers and earning a reputation of dependability, innovations, and exceptional performance. – M&M’s
- Creating loving connections through our blankets. – Minky Mamas
- We deliver the promise of the digital world to our customers. We make their innovative lifestyles possible. – Verizon
Examples of Slogans
Can you name the brands responsible for these popular slogans (hint: some are listed above)? Chances are the simple phrases stand out in your mind and immediately make you think of the product or service they represent.
- Think Different
- Just Do It
- Because You’re Worth It
- Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands
- The Breakfast of Champions
- Can You Hear Me Now?
- What’s in Your Wallet?
- The Happiest Place on Earth
- They’re Grrrrrrreat!
- Nothing Runs Like a Deer
Slogans are catchy phrases, short and sweet, that are used in a brand’s advertising. We repeatedly see them on packaging and billboards and hear them on commercials. A lasting slogan can be used out of context and still conjure up thoughts of the brand it represents. You want your slogan to potentially offer a promise as well as make a lasting impression on potential customers.
Marketing your brand can seem overwhelming. Where do you start? How much do you spend? Customers may stumble upon your product or service with an Internet search, but how can they know your brand is reliable? This is where marketing comes in.
Once you know your mission statement, have a slogan, and a brand aesthetic, you have to get to work. Your message needs to not just reach people, but the right people. Social media makes it easier than ever to target your demographic with paid or sponsored content. It’s a less expensive way to analyze your customers’ behavior and engage with them. Your online presence establishes a connection with potential customers, building trust in your brand. Marketing is more than just selling your product or service; it’s telling your story to your customers. It’s an opportunity to further expand upon your mission statement and let your customers know why you started your business in the first place. Through this storytelling, you can share your passion for your product and build your reputation.
Also, it is important to speak the language of your target audience. Be buyer-centric, not seller-centric. If you are a company, for example, that offers power storage solutions for solar users, don’t drone one about your fancy stuff. Most buyers don’t care about the science behind the solution. Instead, talk about the importance of being prepared for natural disasters or illuminating your home renewably, etc.
Sometimes You’ll Fail
As an entrepreneur, sometimes you’re going to fail. There’s no such thing as an “overnight success” in business, so pull up your bootstraps and know that there’s a lot of work ahead.
Tips for Overcoming Failure
- Plan for failure – regularly analyze your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to stay one step ahead.
- Manage cash flow – get a good forecast of your income and expenses so you can plan for the future.
- Focus on your customers – keep your customers at the forefront of your business so you have support in leaner times.
- Reframe failure – sometimes you can take a step back and see failure as a setback rather than a stopping point.
- Invest in your team – don’t go into business alone if you don’t have to.
- Invest in your business – be sure your IT systems and software help you work smarter and not harder.
With a clear vision, mission statement, and business plan, you can find yourself on a bumpy, but manageable path to success. Remember that it won’t happen overnight, but even the best ideas take time to catch on.
Don’t Throw Away Your Brass
If you’re lucky to have spent brass casings, hang on to them. Ammunition shortages are cyclical, and we’ve reached the point when it’s hard to come by the parts needed to manually reload your ammo, or buy it new from manufacturers.
Buying New vs Reloading Brass
The ammo shortage that began in 2020 is expected to continue well into the next couple of years. In January 2021, a box of 50 9mm rounds cost $22.99, whereas just a few months later in April the cost had risen to $26.99. Manufacturers are facing increased costs that trickle down to consumers, making everything from components to complete ammo itself more expensive.
If you can get your hands on all the components needed to reload your own brass, it is usually less expensive than buying new ones. It will take up a lot of time, though, so it’s important to factor that in as part of the cost.
Reasons to Reload Your Brass
Did you know it’s not only a practical financial choice to reload your ammunition, but it can affect your accuracy as well? Let’s take a look at the reasons why many gun enthusiasts choose to reload their brass.
It Saves Money
Depending on what you carry, the type of ammunition you use, and how frequently your shoot, you can save a lot of money by reloading your brass. Anywhere from a few dollars to 50% of the cost of buying new can add up over time, making it a worthwhile endeavor for many gun owners.
It Can Improve Accuracy
When you reload your spent casings yourself, you can fine-tune how the bullets are seated, and how much gunpower is in each. This can improve accuracy in shooting, and allow you to make other customizations for your firearm.
It’s a Teaching Tool
You can learn a lot about your gun when you load your own ammo. If you’re mechanically inclined and like taking things apart to see how they work, this is a perfect opportunity for you to get to know your firearm better.
It May Allow You to Shoot More
With the cost of ammunition steadily rising, you may be discouraged from stocking up. Not having enough ammo means you’re probably missing out on opportunities to visit the range or participate in matches. If you invest in the components you need to reload, you’ll have them on hand and ready to go the next time you want to enjoy some target practice.
What’s in My Ammunition?
Each standard round of ammunition is comprised of the following:
- A cartridge
- Lead (or other metal) bullet
- Brass or steel casing
- A primer
Can Unused Ammunition Be Recycled?
Unused ammo can be recycled, but it can be a more complicated process. The spent metal casing can be recycled, and the gunpowder can be repurposed as fertilizer. This often leads people to believe it’s okay to bury ammo since gunpowder can benefit the soil. However, the metal, especially lead, can contaminate the ground and leach into water supplies. Additionally, unused ammo should never be thrown away, as compression in a garbage truck or compacter can lead to unintentional firing.
Ways to Dispose of Unused Ammo
- Contact local law enforcement
- Donate it to the gun range
- Donate to another shooter
- Contact a hazardous waste center
Used ammo can more readily be recycled since the gunpowder is spent and you’re just left with the brass. Casings can be reused by the manufacturer for new ammo, or you can reuse them yourself.
Ways to Dispose of Used Ammo
- Hazardous waste drop off
- Donate to a collector
- Recycle the metal as scrap
- Reuse the brass for new ammo
What You Need to Reuse Your Brass
As mentioned, another way to recycle used ammo is to reuse your brass. Rather than leave those casings littered on the ground next time you shoot, gather them up and bring them home. With a few supplies, you can recycle your casings for the next time you’re at the range. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Reloading press
- Brass casings
Once you have these supplies, the process for reloading your ammunition is simple but time-consuming.
Prep the Casings
Inspect all your casings to ensure they aren’t cracked or dented. Take a look at the bottom of the casing and see if the primers are in good shape as well.
To clean your casings, all you need is a soft cloth that will fit inside, and a neck or bottle brush. After you’ve cleaned the casings, they need to be lubricated so you can efficiently move them through your sizing die. You can coat a lube pad with lubricant to make it easier to roll casing across it simultaneously and prep them.
Remove the Primers
Using your loading press, remove the fired primers from the bottom of each casing. Lift your press handle up, and press it down to remove the spent primer and resize your casing. To remove your casing, lift the press handle up and repeat the process for the next case.
Place a New Primer
To insert a new primer into your case, raise the handle on your press to its highest point and put a new primer in the primer arm. With a new case in the shell holder, you’ll then push the primer arm into the ram slot to lower the case onto the new primer. Remove the casing to inspect your handiwork, ensuring the primer is flush with the base of the casing, or slightly lower.
Reload the Casing
With the new primer in place, it’s time to reload the casing with gunpowder. You’ll need to weigh out the correct amount of powder for each casing and pour it in using a funnel.
Seat the Bullet
With a seating die, you can push the bullet to the proper depth in the casing. The die also crimps the shell and positions the lock ring on the casing.
As you can see it’s an involved process, but it can become habitual when you do it often enough.
Remember that it’s just as important to be responsible with your ammunition as it is to be responsible with your firearm. Whether you want to save money, get to know your gun better, or simply enjoy the hands-on experience of reusing brass, it can be a good choice to reload vs buying new ammunition.
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