The United Kingdom has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for public use. This makes it the first western country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine, well ahead the United States and the European Union.
The vaccine is expected to play a significant role in the global effort to halt the coronavirus. In November, Pfizer and its German partner has said that the vaccine, which relies on novel technology called messenger RNA, was 95% effective in a final analysis of clinical-trial data.
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The vaccine will be available in Britain from next week, according to a statement from the UK government.
This was after MHRA, the British health regulator, declared the vaccine safe for public use.
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The UK had signaled it would move swiftly in approving a vaccine as part of an operation to protect its population, and doctors across the country were put on standby for a possible rollout.
For the government, the vaccine offers an opportunity to make up for errors it made during the pandemic, even as Britain’s death toll nears 60,000.
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