"UK Marks A Historic Moment In Fight Against Covid-19": Pfizer CEO

Small bottles labelled with a "Vaccine COVID-19" sticker are seen in this illustrative image.

The British government has accepted a recommendation by the country's independent medicines regulator to approve Pfizer-BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine for general use.

Asked about the British approval of the Pfizer vaccine, the agency said: "EMA considers that the conditional marketing authorisation is the most appropriate regulatory mechanism for use in the current pandemic emergency".

The ACIP is scheduled to meet again in several weeks to discuss who could get the vaccines next.

When will companies roll out a vaccine?

Hancock said Britain will begin receiving the first shipment of 800,000 doses from Belgium within days, and people will start getting the shots as soon as it arrives.

Teachers and medics are to be first in line, Russian Federation having already produced close to two million doses.

As it stands, the vaccine will only be available in the United Kingdom as part of the NHS rollout.

Who would get an approved vaccine and when in the US?

People aged 65 and over are next in line, alongside anyone aged 16 to 64 who has underlying health conditions which put them at a "higher risk of serious disease and mortality".

Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine at George Washington University, says approval of Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine will follow in the US, shortly.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Sir Simon Stevens during a media briefing in Downing Street
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Sir Simon Stevens during a media briefing in Downing Street

It is unclear when a vaccine will be available for children.

The Australian Government has described the emergency approval of a COVID-19 vaccine in Britain as an "important step for the world" but is standing firm on its timeline for vaccinations against coronavirus in Australia to start from March next year.

Amid growing concern in the U.S. that Americans will greet vaccines with skepticism, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Britain's decision "should give Americans additional confidence in the quality of such a vaccine".

Most countries in the region have said the first vaccines would go to the elderly and vulnerable and frontline workers.

The UK has ordered 30 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which should be enough to vaccinate 15 million people.

As millions of European citizens gear up for the festive season, the European Union's executive commission urges member countries to keep strong anti-coronavirus restrictions in place to avoid a post-holiday surge of cases and deaths but stops short of advising against travel.

Delivery timelines vary and most countries are still drawing up plans for distributing and administering shots.

A shot developed by Pfizer and BioNTech that was 95 per cent effective in its pivotal trial is set to be reviewed by a panel of outside experts a week earlier. The agency will also utilize existing national systems that doctors and healthcare providers routinely use to track vaccine side effects, as well as institutional systems for reporting adverse events by hospitals and other facilities. From there, the program will be expanded as the supply increases, with the vaccine offered roughly on the basis of age groups, starting with the oldest people. Through a combination of the need to keep the vaccine at ultra-cold storage and the fact that the jab comes in batches of 975 that can not be split up at the moment, immunisation will only be offered from a network of 50 hospitals to start with. AstraZeneca has also begun testing kids, but not in the US.

How much will it cost?

It means that the UK Government can now distribute the vaccine to the public.

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