UK Approves Pfizer/BioNTech Coronavirus Vaccine For Emergency Use
|The Huffington Post 02 Dec 2020 at 05:22|
The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use in the UK and will be made available from next week, U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.
U.K. regulators are the first to approve Pfizers vaccine for emergency use and Britain will be one of the first countries to start vaccinating their population.
Studies have shown the jab to be 95% effective and works in all age groups. No safety concerns arose from clinical trials.
U.S. and European Union regulators are reviewing the Pfizer shot, along with a similar vaccine developed by Moderna. British regulators are also reviewing a vaccine candidate developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is set to meet Dec. 10 and decide whether to recommend the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use. The first shipments of the vaccine will arrive in the U.S. on Dec. 15, CNN reported .
The U.K. has secured some 40 million doses in total, with 10 million due in the country by the end of the year.
People will need two doses, meaning enough has been bought for 20 million Brits.
The shots will have to come to Britain from the companys distribution center in Belgium, and
Hancock told BBC Breakfast on Wednesday morning that 800,000 doses of the vaccine will be available next week, with several millions more arriving throughout December.
He added: Well then deploy at the speed that its manufactured, and the manufacturing is, of course, being done by Pfizer in Belgium, so that will determine the speed at which we can roll it out.
Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS in England, said the vaccination program would be the largest-scale vaccination campaign in our countrys history.
Hancock tweeted: Help is on its way. The [Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)] has formally authorised the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for Covid-19.
The NHS stands ready to start vaccinating early next week. The UK is the first country in the world to have a clinically approved vaccine for supply.