A Pfizer / BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine has been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for use in the UK, paving the way for mass vaccination.
The government has given the green light to roll out the vaccine to hospitals that will likely receive the first doses to administer the vaccines to staff early next week.
Officials have confirmed that the vaccine will be available “from next week”.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said, “The government today accepted the recommendation of the independent Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer / BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for use. This follows months of rigorous clinical trials and an in-depth analysis of the data by MHRA experts who have concluded that the vaccine meets strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.
“The Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) will also soon publish its latest advice for the priority groups receiving the vaccine, including nursing home residents, health and care workers, the elderly and clinically extremely vulnerable groups.
“The vaccine will be available in the UK from next week.”
The rollout will begin in hospitals as they have facilities to store the vaccine at the very low temperatures needed. About 40 million doses have been ordered by the NHS.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted, “Help is on the way. The MHRA has formally approved the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine for Covid-19.
“The NHS is ready to start vaccinating early next week. The UK is the first country in the world to have a clinically approved vaccine. “
The Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson added, “The NHS has decades of experience delivering large-scale vaccination programs and will begin to implement their comprehensive preparations to provide care and support to all vaccine candidates. .
“To further the success of the vaccination program, it is vital that everyone continues to play their part and adheres to the necessary restrictions in their area so that we can further suppress the virus and let the NHS do its job without being overwhelmed. turn into.
“Further details will be outlined shortly.”