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The UK approves the BioNTech/Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use – TechCrunch

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The UK’s medicines regulator has accepted the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine towards COVID-19 for emergency use, the businesses stated right now.

The UK is the primary nation to approve the vaccine for widespread use — paving the best way for a number of the most “excessive danger” residents, akin to aged care house residents, to get the jab earlier than the tip of the 12 months.

The BBC experiences that the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Merchandise Regulatory Company (MHRA) has stated the vaccine is protected to be rolled out from subsequent week.

The request for emergency authorization was submitted by BioNTech and Pfizer to the MHRA last month — in addition to to regulators in Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan and the U.S., none of which have but given the go forward.

The UK approval is predicated on trial information, together with a worldwide Section three medical examine carried out by BioNTech/Pfizer  which demonstrated an efficacy fee for the vaccine of 95% and raised no severe security issues.

The vaccine was additionally proven to be efficient each in individuals who had not beforehand contracted the SARS-CoV-2 virus and people who had — primarily based on measuring efficacy seven days after the second dose.

Efficacy was additionally reported as constant throughout age, gender, race and ethnicity demographics, with an noticed efficacy in adults age 65 and over of greater than 94%, the businesses stated.

UK prime minister Boris Johnson tweeted the information of the formal authorization this morning — writing that the vaccine will “start to be made accessible throughout the UK from subsequent week”.

The UK has ordered 40M doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine, or sufficient vaccine for 20M individuals (because it requires two doses), although it can take time for the nation to obtain all of the doses ordered.

“The supply of the 40 million doses will happen all through 2020 and 2021, in levels, to make sure an equitable allocation of vaccines throughout the geographies with executed contracts,” the businesses write in a press launch.

“Now that the vaccine is allowed within the U.Okay., the businesses will take instant motion to start the supply of vaccine doses. The primary doses are anticipated to reach within the U.Okay. within the coming days, with full supply fulfilment anticipated in 2021,” they added.

The UK’s Nationwide Well being Service is gearing up for what NHS Chief Govt, Sir Simon Stevens, described as “the largest-scale vaccination marketing campaign in our nation’s historical past”. Per the BBC, some 50 hospitals are on standby and vaccination facilities in venues akin to convention centres are being arrange.

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Natasha Lomas