[News] Britain authorizes Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19

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[News] Britain authorizes Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19

24 Jan 2021, 22:32

Pfizer and BioNTech announced Wednesday that they received permission for the emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccine in Britain, the world's first to be backed by rigorous science and an important step towards ending the pandemic.

The move makes Britain one of the first countries to start vaccinating its po[CENSORED]tion, as it tries to curb Europe's deadliest coronavirus outbreak.

"The vaccine will be available throughout Britain from next week," the Department of Health and Social Security said in a statement. The National Health Service "has decades of experience in large-scale vaccination programs and will put its extensive preparations in action to attend and support all those eligible for vaccination ”.

Other countries are not far behind: the United States and the European Union are also reviewing Pfizer's drug, in addition to a similar one from its competitor Moderna Inc. British regulators are also evaluating another made by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

According to British media, hospitals in England have been asked to get ready to start immunizing health personnel from next week.

Pfizer said it will start shipping limited supplies of the vaccine to Britain immediately, and has been preparing for larger-scale distribution in case the US Food and Drug Administration makes the same decision as British authorities, somewhat. which is expected to happen early next week.

But doses of the vaccine are meager, and the first shipments will be rationed until more are made in the first months of 2021.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla called the British decision "a historic moment."

"We are focusing on moving forward with the same level of urgency to safely deliver a high-quality vaccine around the world," Bourla said in a statement.

Although Britain has ordered enough vaccines from Pfizer to immunize 20 million people, it is unclear how many will arrive before the end of the year. One of the challenges for distribution is that the drug must be stored at ultra-low temperatures.

To protect yourself from the coronavirus, you need two doses three weeks apart. The British government says front-line health workers and residents of nursing homes will be the first to receive it, followed by older adults.

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that "we must first go through a harsh winter" of restrictions to try to curb the virus until there are enough vaccines for everyone.

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