The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is the first to be approved by the UK regulator and will be available for use in the UK within days, the government said on Wednesday.
“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.”
“Today’s Emergency Use Authorisation in the UK marks a historic moment in the fight against COVID-19,” he said.
“This authorisation 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.”
It will start with people in priority groups such as care home residents, health care staff, older people, and the clinically vulnerable, the government spokesperson said.
To support the success of its impending immunisation programme, the government called on people to continue to follow local restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the virus and said it would give further details in due course.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is the first to be approved for use in the population among several vaccine candidates.
‘Hope Has Been Realised’Scientists have welcomed the news.
“COVID-19 has impacted all our lives in so many ways and hope of an exit strategy has relied on a safe and effective vaccine. Today that hope has been realised.”
He added, however, that “the Pfizer vaccine does require storage at around -70C, which will pose significant logistical challenges for all countries that choose to use it.”