The UK will become the first country in the world to vaccinate its population approving the Pfizer/BioNTech for the public from next week.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine candidate is said to be 95% safe against COVID-19 illness and is safe to roll out for widespread use. British regulator, the MHRA has also given the go ahead signal.
If plans go accordingly, immunisations could start within days for people in high priority groups. The country has ordered 40m doses – enough to vaccinate its 20m people, with two shots each.
Around 10m doses will be available soon, and the first doses should arrive in the UK in the next few days.
The Pfizer vaccine has surpassed other candidates to go from inception to reality. Within a span of only 10 months the vaccine has become a reality. Normally, the same developmental steps take a decade.
“Help is on its way. The NHS stands ready to start vaccinating early next week,” tweeted Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
However, experts caution that people should lower their guards as a vaccine has arrived in the market. People still need to remain vigilant and follow coronavirus rules to stop the spread, they say.
There should not be any laxity in terms of social distancing and face masks, and testing people who may have the virus and asking them to isolate.
All about the Pfizer vaccine
The Pfizer vaccine is a new type of immunization jab called an mRNA vaccine that uses a tiny fragment of genetic code from the pandemic virus to teach the body how to combat Covid-19 and build immunity.
This would be the first mRNA vaccine to be approved for use in humans. Earlier, people have received them in only clinical trials.
The vaccine must be stored at around -70C and will be transported in special boxes, packed in dry ice. Once delivered, it can be kept for up to five days in a fridge.