The United Kingdom (UK) on Wednesday approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the novel coronavirus disease, to be rolled out and used starting next week Tuesday.
It is the first western nation to authorize a vaccine against Covid-19, which has infected 1.6 million people and killed nearly 60,000 in the country.
Britain has bought 40 million portions of the shots, which will be distributed to the National Health Service (NHS) workers first before moving down to older people and those in care homes.
The health secretary, Matt Hancock stated “The goal will be to vaccinate through the NHS right across the UK as rapidly as the company can manufacture. It will help save lives. Once we’ve protected the most vulnerable it will help us all get back to normal and back to some of the things that we love.”
The two-dose shots of the Pfizer vaccine can only immunize 20 million people, which is less than one-third of the population.
This means the UK still requires other vaccine candidates in order to immunize most of its population and exit the devastating pandemic. They have shown interest in the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccine along with other nations.
The rest of Europe is waiting for results as the German-based BioNTech awaits a decision on emergency use approval requested from the European Union (EU) regulators.
China has also given authorization to its three front-runners for emergency use, Russia cleared a vaccine known as Sputnik V in August, and in Africa, Egypt and South Africa are participating in trials for vaccination.
Ameenah Hassan is an intern at Arbiterz.