UK to become one of the first countries to begin mass vaccination
The UK has become the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine.
Britain’s medicines regulator has said the vaccine, which offers up to 95 percent protection against the COVID-19 virus, is safe to be rolled out. The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week.
The first 800,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, developed with German firm BioNTech, will be available in the UK from next week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was “fantastic” that the country’s health regulator had formally authorized the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for use, a move that he said would get the economy moving again.
The UK has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use following months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts who have concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness, a UK department of Health and Social Care spokesperson saod.
The Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) will shortly publish its final advice for the priority groups to receive the vaccine, including care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and the clinically extremely vulnerable.
China and Russia have also approved their vaccines and have begun administering shots locally.