Affected immensely with Covid-19, UK became the first country to approve a Covid vaccine by clearing Pfizer Inc and BioNtech SE’s shot. The vaccine will be available in Britain by 15th of december. Hailing the decision, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the Coronavirus vaccine will be made available across the country from next week. PM Johnson took to Twitter and wrote, “It’s fantastic that @MHRAgovuk has formally authorized the @Pfizer/@BioNTech_Group vaccine for Covid-19. The vaccine will begin to be made available across the UK from next week,” tweeted Boris Johnson after regulators gave the green light to the Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine.
The British Prime Minister further added: “It’s the protection of vaccines that will ultimately allow us to reclaim our lives and get the economy moving again.” 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 Emergency Use Authorization in the U.K. will mark the first time citizens outside of the trials will have the opportunity to be immunized against COVID-19,” said Ugur Sahin, M.D., CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech.
The Pfizer/BioNTech jab is the fastest vaccine to go from concept to reality, taking only 10 months to follow the same steps that normally span 10 years.
The doses will be rolled out as quickly as they can be made by Pfizer in Belgium, Mr. Hancock said, with the first load next week and then “several millions” throughout December.
FIRST IN LINE?
Britain said it would start vaccinating ordinary people early next week after it gets 800,000 doses from Pfizer’s manufacturing center in Belgium. The speed of the rollout depends on how fast Pfizer can manufacture and deliver the vaccine.
Johnson said last month that Britain had ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine – enough for just under a third of the population as two shots of the jab are needed per person to gain immunity.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said hospitals were ready to receive the shots and vaccination centres would be set up across the country but he admitted distribution would be a challenge given that the vaccine must be shipped and stored at -70C (-94F), the sort of temperature typical of an Antarctic winter.
Pfizer has said the shots can be kept in thermal shipping boxes for up to 30 days, from up to 15 days previously guided. Afterwards, the vaccine can be kept at fridge temperatures for up to 5 days.
Other frontrunners in the vaccine race include U.S. biotech firm Moderna, which has said its shot is 94% successful in late-stage clinical trials. Moderna and Pfizer have developed their shots using new messenger RNA (mRNA) technology.