Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks at a sample at the Lateral Flow Testing Laboratory during a visit to the Public Health England site at Porton Down science park near Salisbury, southern England, on November 27, 2020. Photograph:( AFP )
The United Kingdom is eyeing the approval of Pfizer and BioNTech SE’s COVID-19 vaccine as early as next week
The United Kingdom is eyeing the approval of Pfizer and BioNTech SE’s COVID-19 vaccine as early as next week. Reports claim that workers of the National Health Service (NHS) in Britain could receive the vaccination by December 7.
Recently, Pfizer announced that its COVID-19 vaccine is 95 per cent effective, making it a promising candidate for mass inoculation alongside Moderna and Oxford candidates.
As of now, the UK has already ordered 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. If followed through, the country would receive the first batch of vaccines by the first week of December.
On November 20, the UK had urged its medical regulator - the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to test the viability of the Pfizer vaccine.
The MHRA is also in the process of ascertaining the safety imbued not only in Pfizer but also in Oxford University and AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer and BioNTech started conducting Phase 3 trials of their experimental vaccine by July.
If the emergency use authorisation is provided to the vaccine, it will mark the first mass rollout of the vaccine in the West. Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister on Sunday assigned minister Nadhim Zahawi to supervise inoculation in the United Kingdom.
The NHS workers will be the first ones to receive the vaccination in Britain. So far, COVID-19 has claimed over 58,000 lives in the UK. Over 16 lakh cases of the virus have been confirmed in the UK so far.