Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech has been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for use in the UK
This paves the way for mass vaccination to start. Officials said the vaccine will be made available ‘from next week’ as Health Secretary Matt Hancock declared ‘Help is on its way’.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: ‘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.
The UK has already ordered 40m doses – enough to vaccinate 20 million people, with two shots each. Around 10 million doses should be available soon, with the first doses arriving in the UK in the coming days.
It is the fastest ever vaccine to go from concept to reality, taking only 10 months to follow the same developmental steps that normally span a decade.
Although vaccination can start, people still need to remain vigilant and follow coronavirus rules to stop the spread, say experts. That means sticking with the social distancing and face masks and testing people who may have the virus and asking them to isolate.
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