A Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech has been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for use in the UK, paving 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.
“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.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted: ‘Help is on its way. The MHRA has formally authorised the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for Covid-19.
“The NHS stands ready to start vaccinating early next week. The UK is the first country in the world to have a clinically approved vaccine for supply.”
Just days ago hospitals in England were told to prepare for the rollout of a Covid-19 vaccine in as soon as 10 days, it has been reported, with NHS staff first in line to receive it.
The first deliveries of the vaccine created by Pfizer/BioNTech were slated to come between December 7 and December 9.
This vaccine, which reported early results suggesting the jab is 95 percent effective, needs to be stored at extremely low temperatures.
One senior hospital executive had been told to expect the vaccine on December 7 to give to NHS staff during the following week. – MailOnLine