UK is first country to approve Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine

The UK has authorized the COVID-19 vaccine from US biopharmaceutical Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech and will be available from "next week", the British government announced this Wednesday (02.12.2020).

The government detailed that the elderly, including those in nursing homes, will be the first to be vaccinatedas well as front-line health workers and clinically vulnerable people.

The approval comes after it was announced that the results of mass testing of the vaccine showed a 95% efficiency.

The vaccine will be available in the next few days

"The government today accepted the recommendation of the Independent Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve the use of the Pfizer / BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine," a spokesperson stated.

"The vaccine will be available across the UK from next week"he added.

"The UK is the first country in the world to have a clinically approved vaccine for distribution," Health Minister Matt Hancock celebrated on Twitter.

"Historic moment in the fight against COVID-19"

This green light from the British authorities "is the result of months of rigorous clinical trials and in-depth analysis of the data by MHRA experts, who concluded that the vaccine met strict standards of safety, quality and efficacy"said the ministry spokesman.

Hancock also confirmed that "the NHS (national health system) is ready to start vaccinating from next week."

"The authorization … in the United Kingdom marks a historic moment in the fight against COVID-19," said Albert Bourla, president of Pfizer, on Wednesday.

For its part, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced on Tuesday that it will hold an extraordinary meeting on December 29 "at the latest" to give its approval or not to this Pzifer and BioNTech vaccine.