UK First Country In The World To Approve Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine For Widespread Use

The Covid-19 vaccine- which has shown 95% efficacy- will be available in Britain from early next week.

Healthcare workers and nursing home staff are expected to be among the first to be vaccinated in the UK.

Here at home, Public Expenditure Minister, Michael McGrath, says we’re still a number of weeks away from the rollout of this vaccine:

“The approving authority is the European Medicines Agency, and they have signalled that they have received the application from Pfizer BioNtech and that they will be meeting in late December, the 29th of December, [they] may make a decision as early as then, or possibly on the 12th of January, so it’s a matter of weeks away, and I think we need to let it take its course.”

Dr. Anne Moore, Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry and Cell Biology at UCC, says the reason why UK authorities have been quicker to approve the vaccine than the EU is down to politics:

“I would think that it’s office priorities and how things are done. I wouldn’t worry about the fact that, you know, the MHRA [The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency] are authorising today and the EMA [European Medicines Association] might authorise it on the 29th of December. The MHRA were under significant pressure to have this done at the EMA as well but, you know, it comes down to culture and politics.”


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