The UK has become the first country to approve the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called the news “fantastic.” Fifty British hospitals are ready to start vaccinating next week.
The United Kingdom, with more than 59,000 dead, is the country most affected in Europe by the pandemic. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has described this authorization as “fantastic”. “The protection of vaccines is what will ultimately allow us to resume our lives and recover the economy,” he said in a tweet.
Pfizer’s vaccine is also expected to be the first licensed in the European Union, at the latest on December 29. In Germany they are already preparing.
The United Kingdom has contracted with Pfizer 40 million doses
But it will be the UK that sets the standard. It has a contract with Pfizer for 40 million doses, which will allow it to vaccinate 20 million people, since each person has to receive two injections three weeks apart.
In clinical trials, Pfizer’s vaccine has been shown to be 95% effective and with good results for everyone, young and old alike.
The so-called Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization is expected to publish its reconmendation on which groups will be the first to receive the vaccine, but it is expected that it will be the elderly and health personnel.
British hospitals They are also prepared to vaccinate with the doses developed by the University of Oxford and the pharmaceutical AstraZeneca, which is still being evaluated by the regulatory body. The advantage of this vaccine is that it does not require extreme cold conditions for storage, unlike Pfizer’s.
Regulatory agencies in the EU and the US are also reviewing the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine and may authorize its emergency use this month. The EU has secured an agreement with the companies for 300 million doses.
Pfizer and BioNTech have said they have the capacity to produce 50 million doses of the vaccine in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses of the vaccine in 2021.
This vaccine is based on a new technology that contains genetic instructions that help the body recognize the tip protein of the coronavirus, which is used to enter the cells of the body.
The vaccine was “well tolerated” by the more than 43,000 participants enrolled in phase three of the trials, the company said earlier in the month. Those trials continue even when the vaccine is approved for emergency use.
Participants will continue to be monitored to determine how it protects and its safety for two more years after their second dose.
The vaccine could be more difficult to distribute than others, experts say, since it needs to be stored at deep-frozen temperatures (-70 degrees Celsius).