This long-awaited moment has finally arrived! This morning, Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine has been approved for use in the UK as early as next week. It is the fastest vaccine ever to be developed, taking only 10 months to convert the concept into reality, a process that ordinarily takes 10 years.2
BNT162b2, which offers 95% protection has been approved by Britain for largescale immunisation against COVID-19.2,3 MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) put out a statement saying that they “have carried out a rigorous scientific assessment of all the available evidence of quality, safety and effectiveness” and are pleased to announce the approval of this vaccine. They also suggested that “Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent infectious diseases” saving millions of lives worldwide every year.4
40 million doses have been ordered so far and the UK’s health secretary Matt Hancock has suggested that the first 800,000 doses will be available for vaccination from next week.2 He added that the doses will be administered as quickly as they can be made, but the bulk of the vaccination process will happen next year. Once the vaccine campaign is up and running with enough doses, it is thought over a million doses could be administered each week.
Though this is a fantastic step in the right direction, we cannot afford let our guard down. Experts have made it clear that we all must stay vigilant, respect social distancing and use face masks to beat the virus.
For more information on vaccination timings, who is likely to get vaccinated first and what the efficacy values of these covid-19 vaccines actually mean, check out last weeks blog post here.
- Picture of confetti in the sky (https://unsplash.com/photos/uW_oj3jOPRg)