United Kingdom

Vaccine to be rolled out in UK from next month if it passes safety checks

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A vaccine for coronavirus could be rolled out in the UK as early as next month if it passes safety checks.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the NHS was ready to administer the jab and that this could happen as soon as one is approved.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has applied for emergency approval in the US for its Covid-19 vaccine, which is said to be 95% effective.

The UK Government has ordered 40 million doses of this jab, as well as 100 million doses of the Oxford jab and five million doses of the Moderna jab.

Mr Hancock said the Government has asked the UK vaccines regulator to approve the use of the Pfizer jab and has asked the NHS to be ready to deploy the vaccine as fast as it is produced from next month.

Speaking at a Downing Street press briefing he said: ‘The first step in the UK for authorising a vaccine is for the Government formally to ask the independent regulator, the MHRA, to assess its suitability

‘The MHRA, which acts for the entire UK, is one of the world’s most respected regulators.

‘And I can confirm that the Gov has formally asked the MHRA to assess the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for its suitability for authorisation.

‘[They] have already begun supplying data to the MHRA and will submit their full data in the coming days.’

Phase three trials showed the Pfizer vaccine in 95% effective (Picture: Getty)

The Health secretary said this ‘is another important step forward in tackling this pandemic’.

He said groups at the highest risk of catching coronavirus, such as the over 80s and healthcare workers, will be prioritised in terms of accessing the jab.

He said the NHS is in the process of establishing vaccination centres, which would be in hospitals and locations within local communities.

He said the roll-out would be ‘a massive logistical challenge’ but that he was confident the NHS could do it.

More to follow


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