Britain on Wednesday became the first Western country to approve a Covid-19 vaccine for general use as it announced a rollout of Pfizer-BioNTech’s drug from next week.
“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,” the department of health said in a statement.
“The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week,” the statement said. Priority groups will include care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and the clinically extremely vulnerable.
After months of “rigorous” clinical trials and thorough analysis of the data, the MHRA “concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness”, the statement added.
“To aid the success of the vaccination programme it is vital everyone continues to play their part and abide by the necessary restrictions in their area so we can further suppress the virus and allow the NHS (National Health Service) to do its work without being overwhelmed.”