LONDON: The United Kingdom on Wednesday approved the emergency use of coronavirus vaccine produced by the US drug makers raising the hopes of curbing the pandemic that has infected millions across the world. According to a British newspaper, the vaccine has been approved for emergency use by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA).
The publication reported that the first dose of the vaccine may arrive in the United Kingdom in the coming days. It added that the Boris Johnson-led government has brought 40 million doses of the vaccine, which has 95% efficacy in its final trials.
“Today’s emergency use authorization in the UK marks a historic moment in the fight against COVID-19. This authorization is a goal we have been working toward since we first declared that science will win, and we applaud the MHRA for their ability to conduct a careful assessment and take timely action to help protect the people of the UK,” CEO of Pfizer Albert Bourla said.
Exciting news: We received the world’s first authorization of a #COVID19 #vaccine, with @MHRA granting emergency use authorization in the UK. More regulatory decisions may come in 2020. More information: https://t.co/8Fpa22leS5 pic.twitter.com/mTIO48RgnN
— BioNTech SE (@BioNTech_Group) December 2, 2020
“As we anticipate further authorizations and approvals, we are focused on moving with the same level of urgency to safely supply a high-quality vaccine around the world. With thousands of people becoming infected, every day matters in the collective race to end this devastating pandemic.”
According to the local TV channel, Pfizer-BioNTech was among a group of companies that had managed to develop a vaccine from concept to reality. The process to develop it took only 10 months. The channel reported that the group that is most likely to receive the vaccine first are people at the highest risk.
A source said that a provisional priority list drawn up by experts had identified care home residents and staff, followed by people over 80 and other health and social care workers as the top priority. The local Tv channel reported that these groups may receive the first stocks of the vaccine before Christmas. The vaccine has to be administered in two injections, 21 days apart, with the second dose being a booster.