Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine to be rolled out in UK next week
"Months of rigorous clinical trials..."
Pfizer and BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine is set to be rolled out in the UK next week, as Britain becomes the first country in the world to approve the jab.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said that the vaccine, which has reported 95% effectiveness in trials, has met high standards of safety and quality.
"The government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer/BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine for use," they said.
"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 Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) will shortly also publish its latest advice for the priority groups to receive the vaccine, including care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and the clinically extremely vulnerable.
"The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week."
They added that the NHS will begin preparing the vaccine for those who are eligible to receive it first. These priority groups will be decided by the JCVI and will include health care staff, care home residents, the elderly and those who are vulnerable.
"To aid the success of the vaccination programme it is vital everyone continues to play their part and abide by the necessary restrictions in their area so we can further suppress the virus and allow the NHS to do its work without being overwhelmed," they said.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News that the vaccination process will begin from "early next week."
"50 hospitals across the country are already set up and waiting to receive the vaccine as soon as it's approved, so that can now happen," he said.