Britain will start vaccinating people next week
London: The United Kingdom (UK) today became the first country to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19, paving the way for mass vaccinations against the deadly Coronavirus.
The British regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), says the jab, which claims to offer up to 95 percent protection against COVID-19 illness, is safe for roll out.
The joint vaccine, produced by American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German biotech firm BioNTech, had recently claimed trials suggested it works well in people of all ages, races and ethnicities. The UK Government had asked the MHRA to look into the data to clear it for use if it meets “robust” standards of quality, safety, and effectiveness.
The UK is expected to receive a total of 40 million doses by the end of 2021, enough to vaccinate up to a third of the population, with the majority of doses anticipated in the first half of next year.
The UK Government said it remains confident that the cold supply chain needed to distribute the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will not cause any problems or delays. When the vaccine is stored in a fridge, it has an effective life of up to five days at temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees, which will allow it to be easily stored at distribution centres.