COVID vaccine

COVID vaccine approved and is set to be rolled out next week

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has been approved by UK regulator, MHRA, and is set to be rolled out across the country as early as next week following the Government’s order of 40million doses.

It’s believed that the most vulnerable will be given a vaccine first including care home residents and staff.

The news comes as England’s lockdown ends and Health Secretary Matt Hancock has declared that the end of the pandemic is now ‘in sight’.

Mr Hancock added that:

The NHS stands ready to start vaccinating early next week. The UK is the first country in the world to have a clinically approved vaccine for supply.’ He also said that those ‘who are vulnerable from Covid’ will be first in line, meaning care home residents and workers will be first to be contacted — despite claims NHS workers would be first. 

Boris Johnson also praised the news of the vaccine’s approval, saying it would ‘allow us to reclaim our lives and get the economy moving again’.

In total, the UK will receive 10million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine by the end of 2020, enough to vaccinate 5million people, with the remaining 40million doses due in the first quarter of 2021. The UK has also ordered 100million doses of Oxford University’s COVID vaccine, with up to 19million ready to go by Christmas, and 5million doses of Moderna’s vaccine, which won’t be ready until spring.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is due to publish its latest advice for the priority groups to receive the vaccine shortly and it’s likely to include: care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and the clinically extremely vulnerable.

Commenting on the news of the vaccine, Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said, ‘This is great news. An effective vaccine – along with advances in treatment and rapid turnaround mass testing – presents real hope for a way out of the pandemic.

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