New Delhi: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday said that it is important for the public to not get carried away or fall for the belief that struggle is over on approval of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19. The prime minister said, “It’s vital that we are not carried away with over-optimism or fall into the naive belief that the struggle is over. Today, in England, we have ended national restrictions, opening up significant parts of the economy.” Also Read - Moderna Coronavirus Vaccine Rarely Causes Anaphylaxis, Finds Report; Only 2.5 Severe Allergic Cases Per 1 Million People Vaccinated
Addressing a media briefing PM Johnson said that that even though the vaccine has been approved in the country there are still “immense logistical challenges”. He said, “The vials are going to be stored at -70 degrees Celsius, each person needs two injections, three weeks apart. So it will inevitably take some months before almost vulnerable are protected.” Also Read - This Country Has Imposed First COVID-19 Lockdown, 10,000 to Undergo Mandatory Testing
Earlier today, the country became the first country to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine after “rigorous” analysis by its independent regulator, paving the way for mass vaccinations from as early as next week among people at the highest risk of death from the deadly virus. Also Read - Over 150 National Guard Troops Deployed For Biden's Inauguration Test Positive For Coronavirus
The British regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), says the jab, which claims to offer up to 95 per cent protection against Covid-19 illness, is safe for roll out.
The UK government said the approval follows a “rigorous” analysis of the data, conducted at a faster pace but without any compromise on standards. The news that the vaccine will begin to be made available from next week received a warm welcome from PM Johnson. It’s the protection of vaccines that will ultimately allow us to reclaim our lives and get the economy moving again, Johnson, a COVID-19 survivor, said.
The vaccines require two doses 21 days apart, with strong immunity response kicking in after seven days of the second dose. The MHRA said it will continue to monitor the data on a rolling basis once the vaccines are deployed among the British public.
I am thrilled. Help is on its way we can see the dawn. Let’s redouble our efforts to follow the lockdown rules, said UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
It’s been a very tough 2020 but 2021 will be brighter, he said.
The UK government has formally accepted the recommendation from the MHRA, which means the two-dose vaccine can be injected into arms of high-risk categories within days. Around 10 million doses should be available soon, with the first 800,000 arriving in the UK in the coming days.
The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week. The NHS [National Health Service] has decades of experience in delivering large scale vaccination programmes and will begin putting their extensive preparations into action to provide care and support to all those eligible for vaccination, said a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
This follows months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA who have concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness, the spokesperson said.
(With Agency inputs)