The United Kingdom is the first country in the world to give the green light to the use of Pfizer vaccine. The UK government agreed to a recommendation from the regulatory Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve and use the vaccine.
Health Minister Matt Hancock calls the approval fantastic news. He says 50 hospitals are ready to receive the drug. Large vaccination centres are also being set up, for example in conference centres. “At the beginning of next week, we are going to launch a program to vaccinate people in this country against Covid-19,” said the minister to Sky News. The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine would be 95% effective in fighting the virus.
Hancock acknowledges that the use of the vaccine is accompanied by logistical challenges. He says, For example, that the drug should be stored at minus 70 degrees. The minister says that vaccination of the most vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and people in nursing homes, is under way. The death toll by corona in the United Kingdom is close to 60,000 with over 1.6 million infections.
CEO Albert Bourlanges of Pfizer says that with the approval the UK Government is taking swift action to protect its population and that is counting on more approvals for the vaccine. There are still applications for approval from the European and American drug authorities. It is possible that the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine will be given the green light in the United States and the European Union later this month.
According to the BBC, the approximately 66 million inhabitants of the United Kingdom have ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine. This will enable 20 million people to be vaccinated. The first 800 000 doses should be imported into the country in the next few days.