The Pfizer / BioNTech coronavirus vaccine has been approved in the UK, paving the way for mass vaccination.
The United Kingdom became the first country in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine.
The British drug regulator, MHRA, says the vaccine, which offers up to 95% protection against Covid-19, is safe to inject.
The first 800,000 doses will be available in the UK next week, said Health Minister Matt Hancock.
People have to wait to contact the NHS, he added.
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Elderly people in nursing homes and nursing home staff are at the top of the list of priorities, followed by over 80s and healthcare staff.
However, due to limited stocks and the need to store at -70 ° C, the first vaccinations are likely to take place in hospitals, so residents of care homes may not be immunized until later.
Pfizer / BioNTech is the fastest vaccine to move from concept to reality, taking only 10 months to follow the same steps that typically take 10 years.
Britain has already ordered 40 million doses of the free stroke – enough to vaccinate 20 million people.
The doses will be distributed as quickly as Pfizer can make in Belgium, said Matt Hancock, with the first charge next week and then “several million” in December.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “It is the protection of vaccines that will ultimately allow us to rebuild our lives and drive the economy back.”
The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine will not be mandatory and there will be three ways to vaccinate people in the UK:
- Vaccination centers
- In the community, with general practitioners and pharmacists.
About 50 hospitals are on standby and vaccination centers are currently being set up – in places such as conference centers or sports stadiums.
As the initial doses are delivered to hospitals that already have vaccine storage facilities at -70 ° C, the first vaccinations are likely to take place in hospital centers – for nursing home staff, NHS staff and patients – the vaccine is lost .
It is estimated that the vaccination network can start delivering more than one million doses per week once sufficient doses are available.