UK gives first green light to Pfizer-BioNTech

In the global vaccination race, the British government announced on Wednesday that it would allow the coronavirus vaccine.

The UK is the first Western country to go green. In the global vaccination race, one of the most massive and crucial in history, the British government announced on Wednesday authorizing the vaccine against the coronavirus developed by the American giant Pfizer and the German BioNTech.

“The government today accepted the recommendation of the Independent Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve the use of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine”, the Ministry of Health said.

Boris Johnson immediately greeted a news“fantastic”. “This is what will ultimately allow us to regain our lives and restart the economy”, the Prime Minister tweeted. For his part, the boss of Pfizer greeted a “Historic moment”.

The public health service (NHS) is ready to start vaccination from the beginning of next week but Boris Johnson has recognized the scale of the logistical challenge, for 67 million inhabitants. Fifty hospitals across the country are ready to receive the vaccine. Vaccination centers, pharmacies or medical centers will also be called upon. The army will set up around ten vaccination centers in conference spaces or stadiums, and will be used for transport.

Health Minister Matt Hancock said priority people included nursing home residents, caregivers, the elderly and the most vulnerable. Downing Street assured that Boris Johnson would wait his turn, without privilege, but with perhaps a television vaccination to set an example …

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Matt Hancock insisted the green light followed “Months of rigorous clinical trials and extensive data analysis by MHRA experts who concluded that the vaccine met its strict standards for safety, quality and efficacy.” Test results showed 95% effectiveness. Despite these assurances, some experts question the unprecedented speed of this approval. It comes just 23 days after Pfizer published its data on the final stage of its clinical trials. “The MRHA is serious and has no interest in taking risks” puts a specialist in perspective.

A short explanation

The EMA sent an unusual spike to the British, saying its longer procedure was more appropriate, as it was based on more evidence and controls. The European agency will hold an extraordinary meeting on December 29“later” to decide on the green light for the marketing of this vaccine. It is also being evaluated in the United States.

Confirming the political connotation of this announcement, the British government claimed that Brexit had enabled this breakthrough, by breaking free “The slower pace of Europeans”. The German Minister of Health replied that this explanation was a bit short, the company BioNTech having been “EU funded”

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