Vaccinations in the United Kingdom begin next week
Britain is the first country to approve the coronavirus vaccine for use by Pfizer and BioNTech, starting next week.
“The government has accepted the recommendation of the Independent Drugs and Health Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) to approve the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine for use,” London was quoted as saying by Reuters.
The British Minister of Health Matt Hancock noted that the vaccination program in the country will start early next week. Hospitals, he said, are already on standby. “From the beginning of next week we will start a vaccination program against COVID-19,” the minister told Sky News, referring to “fantastic news”.
The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also described the fact that the vaccine was approved as “fantastic”, stressing that it will be available throughout the country from next week. In a Twitter post, Mr Johnson said: “The protection that vaccines provide will allow us to take back our lives and get our economy back on track.”
The vaccination program is expected to be started by the elderly and staff in care units.
Pfizer spoke of a historic moment in the fight against COVID-19. “This approval is a goal we have been working on since we first stated that science will win and we applaud the MHRA for its ability to conduct a careful assessment and take timely action to protect UK citizens.” , said Pfizer CEO Albert Burla.
When will vaccine evaluations be completed?
It is noted that on Tuesday the European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced that, if the data is sufficient, it will complete by December 29 the evaluation of the candidate vaccine of Pfizer and BioNTech against COVID-19.
The EMA also announced that it has applied for a marketing authorization for the candidate vaccine of Moderna Inc and that, if the data is sufficient, it will complete its evaluation of this vaccine by 12 January.
A spokesman for the Commission said the European Commission was expected to give final approval for the marketing of COVID-19 vaccines a few days after the European Medicines Agency gave the green light.
According to a report in the Financial Times, the distribution of the vaccine in the European Union is not expected to start before January.
Pfizer and BioNTech seek approval in Europe
It is noted that the companies Pfizer and BioNTech submitted the third application to the European Medicines Agency for the conditional approval of their coronavirus vaccine. A relevant request has been submitted to the competent US authorities.
The two companies announced on November 18 the final results of the third phase of their COVID-19 vaccine, according to which it is 95% effective in preventing infection, without causing serious side effects.
Request for use of the vaccine from Moderna
On Monday, the American Moderna Inc. submitted the necessary information for the mRNA vaccine he developed to the control bodies of the USA, Europe and Britain, requesting the issuance of an emergency license.
Their final analysis shows that the vaccine is 94% effective and that it can completely prevent, 100%, severe cases of COVID-19. Also, none of the vaccinated showed serious side effects.