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2 December 2020

First COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, authorised by the MHRA

Summary

Following Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the UK is the ‘first country in the western world to authorise a vaccine’.

Dr June Raine, MHRA Chief Executive, says ‘we have carried out a rigorous scientific assessment of all the available evidence of quality, safety and effectiveness. The public’s safety has always been at the forefront of our minds – safety is our watchword’. In clinical trials, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine demonstrated 94% effectiveness in people over the age of 65 years who received two doses, 3 weeks apart.

800,000 of the 40 million doses ordered will be available next week. As per Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommendations, health and social care workers, care home staff and people over the age of 80 years will be the first to be offered the vaccine. The vaccine will be available for free, and deployed across all four nations under the Barnett formula.

Source(s)

Gov.uk press release – COVID-19 vaccine approved by MHRA

Gov.uk decision – regulatory approval of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine