The United Kingdom has approved Pfizer's vaccine, making it the first country to officially approve a vaccine for Covid-19. The release of the vaccine in the UK is expected to start as early as next week.
"The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week. The NHS has decades of experience in delivering large-scale vaccination programmes and will begin putting their extensive preparations into action to provide care and support to all those eligible for vaccination." said the UK Department of Health and Social Care.
Spokesperson for the UK Department of Health and Social Care said the government accepted the recommendation to approve the vaccine by Pfizer and BioNTech. .
The recommendation was given by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
"This follows months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA who have concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness."
Pfizer chairman Albert Bourla said the decision to approve the vaccine is a historic one.
"This authorisation is a goal we have been working toward since we first declared that science will win, and we applaud the MHRA for their ability to conduct a careful assessment and take timely action to help protect the people of the UK," he said.
The Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) will meet soon to determine which priority groups will be the first to receive the vaccine.
Some groups that are being considered are: healthcare staff, the elderly, clinically extremely vulnerable people.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said people cannot afford to relax, as the UK is heading into the winter season.
Spokesperson for the Health and Social Care Department has urged people to continue following Covid-19 guidelines, even while the vaccine is being rolled out.
"To aid the success of the vaccination programme it is vital everyone continues to play their part and abide by the necessary restrictions in their area so we can further suppress the virus and allow the NHS (National Health Service) to do its work without being overwhelmed."