London, Nov 29 : British Prime Minister on Saturday appointed Nadhim Zahawi as the country’s new health minister who will be responsible for overseeing the rollout of the COVID vaccine in England.
The rollout of the vaccine is expected to start before Christmas, subject to regulatory approval, a BBC report said.
Mr Zahawi, an MP for Stratford-on-Avon, will be responsible for overseeing the distribution of the vaccine until at least next summer.
Under the interim arrangement, Mr Zahawi will serve as a joint minister between the health department and the business department, where he currently works.
His primary focus will be on delivering the vaccine, with most areas of his business portfolio put aside.
It comes as a further 479 deaths within 28 days of a positive test were reported in the UK, bringing the total to 58,030. There were also a further 15,871 positive cases registered in the past 24 hours.
In a tweet, Mr Zahawi welcomed his new post but said the rollout would be a “big responsibility and a big operational challenge”.
He added that he was “absolutely committed to making sure we can roll out vaccines quickly – saving lives and livelihoods and helping us #buildbackbetter”.