Britain on Wednesday became the first country in the world to approve the COVID-19 vaccine Pfizer-BioNTech developed by Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech SE for use and said that it will be rolled out for use from next week.
A vaccine is seen as the best chance for the world to get back to some semblance of normality amid a global pandemic which has killed nearly 1.5 million people and upended the global economy.
“The government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use,” the government said.
Britain’s vaccine committee will decide which priority groups will get the jab first such as care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
Pfizer said Britain’s emergency use authorization marks a historic moment in the fight against COVID-19. “This authorization 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,” said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.