In hugely welcome news overnight, The UK has approved the license for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to begin to be rolled out nationwide, starting next week, with those most at risk.
800,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are expected to be available in the UK next week, as the country becomes the first western country to license a vaccine against the virus, paving the way for mass immunisation.
According to a report by the Guardian, the vaccine has been authorised for emergency use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA), before decisions by the US and Europe.
The first doses of the vaccine, which have been shown to have a 95% efficacy in its final trials, will arrive in the UK over the next few days, ready to be rolled out to the elderly and front line health and social care workers.
The vaccine will be distributed by the NHS at a network of 50 hospitals and specialist vaccination centres, as well as some GPs and pharmacists if they have cold storage facilities.
Although the vaccine has to be kept at -70C, the companies say it can be stored for up to five days in a fridge, at 2-8°C.
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“We are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis.”
Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO
The health secretary, Matt Hancock told BBC News that from Easter next year, the UK ‘could return to some normality and indicated that no restrictions would be needed by summer 2021.’
While it’s only the beginning, the news could be what the travel industry needs to open the door to international travel once more.
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