The United Kingdom (UK) has become the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, paving the way for mass vaccination.
Britain’s medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), says the jab, which offers up to 95% protection against COVID-19 illness, is safe to be rolled out.
The first doses are already on their way to the UK, with 800,000 due in the coming days, Pfizer said.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the NHS will contact people about vaccination.
Elderly people in care homes and care home staff have been placed top of the priority list, followed by over-80s and health and care staff.
But because hospitals already have the facilities to store the vaccine at -70C, as required, the very first vaccinations are likely to take place there – for care home staff, NHS staff and patients – so none of the vaccine is wasted.