COVID-19: Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine approved for use in the UK
The UK is the first country in the world to approve a vaccine for COVID-19. The approved vaccine is produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and this approval is paving the way for mass vaccination.
The UK’s Medicines regulator, Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), says the vaccine, which offers up to 95% protection against Covid-19 illness, is safe to be rolled out. Pfizer has confirmed that the first doses are already on their way to the UK, with 800,000 due in the coming days.
Matt Hancock (The UK’s Health Secretary) said the National Health Service (NHS) will contact its citizens about the vaccines. The distribution of these vaccines will be prioritized, as vulnerable persons such as the elderly, care home staff, persons over the age of 80 and health care personnel are to be vaccinated first.
With an increase in COVID-19 cases, Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged the public not to get “carried away with over optimism or falling into the naive belief that our struggle is over“. He told a Downing Street news conference that, while the “searchlights of science” has created a working vaccine, significant logistical challenges remain.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is the fastest vaccine to go from concept to reality, taking only 10 months to follow the same steps that normally span 10 years. This is truly groundbreaking and the UK has already ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine – enough to vaccinate 20 million people.
This is positive news as it is anticipated that the vaccine will get to the rest of the world soon. We hope that the vulnerable will be first on the priority list in other parts of the world to reduce further spread of the virus.