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- to become available next week
The United Kingdom has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use, making it the first country in the world.
The government has given the health regulator MHRA a nod and the vaccines will become available next week.
Pfizer earlier search details had shown that the vaccine is 95% effective and works in all ages.
The government secured 40 doses of the vaccine, however, patients will need two doses.
The UK will receive 10 million doses by the end of December.
The government has also said Royal Liverpool University Hospital trust will be one of the sites to distribute the vaccines.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said during a brief interview with Sky News on Tuesday morning that “The MHRA – the fiercely independent regulator – has clinically authorised the vaccine for roll-out.
“The NHS stands ready to make that happen so from early next week we will start the programme of vaccinating people against COVID-19 here in this country.
“As we know from earlier announcements, this vaccine is effective, the MHRA has approved it as clinically safe, and we have a vaccine, so it’s very good news.”
“The UK is the first country in the world to have a clinically approved vaccine for supply.”
Hancock told Sky News that there would be “three modes of delivery” of the vaccine.
He said, “The first is hospitals themselves, which of course we’ve got facilities like this.”
“50 hospitals across the country are already set up and waiting to receive the vaccine as soon as it’s approved, so that can now happen.
“Also vaccination centres, which will be big centres where people can go to get vaccinated. They are being set up now.”