It’s the day everyone (apart from lunatic anti-vaxxers) have been waiting nine months for. A Covid-19 vaccine has been officially approved for use in the United Kingdom and rollout of the jabs will begin as early as next week.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was approved for use by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) today, meaning the UK will become the first country in the world to roll out vaccinations for the virus which has claimed well over a million lives worldwide.
The British Government have secured 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which is enough to immunise 20 million people, as it requires two injections, taken three weeks apart, before becoming effective. It is believed 10 million of these will be made available before the end of the year, with the first 800,000 doses being delivered within the next week.
And following on from the news of the vaccine’s approval, the priority list of recipients for the Pfizer doses has now been revealed, explaining who will be prioritised for protection against Covid-19 first.
- Residents in care homes for older adults and their carers
- People aged 80 and over and frontline health workers
- People aged 75 and over
- People aged 70 and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
- People aged 65 and over
- People aged 16 to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
- People aged 60 and over
- People aged 55 and over
- People aged 50 and over
Young people under 50 without any existing health conditions are not included on the list as they are low risk and are expected to be given one of the Moderna or Astrazeneca vaccines that are currently awaiting approval, but have been discovered to be highly effective in their Stage Three clinical trials.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has registered results showing it is 95% effective in guarding against serious illness from Covid-19 and is the quickest vaccine in history to be successfully produced, taking a startling 10 months to be implemented.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the BBC, “From next week, we’ll be able to start rolling this out.
“We’ll start with those who are most vulnerable to coronavirus.
“Once we’ve protected the most vulnerable it will help us all get back to normal and back to all the things that we love.”
So while we must all still maintain social distancing and other similar protective measures such as mask wearing in public spaces, at least a return to normal is now in sight, with spring 2021 believed to be the Holy Grail for when life will once again be like it was pre-2020.