UK becomes first country to approve Pfizer – BioNTech vaccine

The United Kingdom has approved the Pfizer – BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19, a government spokesperson announced on Wednesday.

“The government has today accepted the recommendation from the MHRA to approve Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for use,” said a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care.

The MHRA being the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

“This follows months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA who have concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness,” the spokesperson said.

The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week, they added.

The UK’s Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, tweeted that “help is on its way,” confirming that “the NHS stands ready to start vaccinating early next week” and adding that “the UK is the first country in the world to have a clinically approved vaccine for supply.”

Around ten million doses are expected by the end of the year, various media report. The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine in total.

During clinical trials, the Pfizer and BioNTech candidate vaccine showed 95% efficacy in preventing Covid-19.

Pfizer and BioNTech have also applied for conditional market authorisation for their Covid-19 vaccine with the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

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Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

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