The UK is the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer vaccine, paving the way for a mass vaccination programme to start next week.
The Pfizer vaccine, which is 95% effective, has been approved by the UK’s health regulators meaning it is safe for use. The Health Secretary Matt Hancock said this meant the NHS will start to distribute the vaccine early next week, with 800,000 doses immediately available. In total the UK has ordered 40 million doses of the jab, which is enough to protect 20 million people. By the end of 2020 5 million doses will have been distributed.
EU and US regulators are yet to approve any vaccine, though both are expected to do so by the end of December.
The NHS will contact those who will be offered the vaccine and will prioritise the elderly, those in care homes and some NHS staff.
The Pfizer vaccine was the first to be approved of any new COVID-19 inoculation in the West, taking 10 months to go from concept to reality in a process which usually takes 10 years. Two vaccines are also waiting for regulatory approval, the Oxford vaccine and Moderna, both of which saw results showing more than 90% effectiveness against coronavirus.
Read more: Pfizer Covid vaccine priority list is confirmed as jab chiefs reveal who will get first doses next week - www.thesun.co.uk/news/13357224/care-home-residents-nhs-pfizer-vaccine-first/
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