Health Care

Britain grants Pfizer coronavirus vaccine emergency authorization

Britain grants Pfizer coronavirus vaccine emergency authorization”

Meanwhile, nine ultra-low temperature Covid-19 vaccine freezer trucks have arrived into the country to aid with the roll out of a Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The first vaccinations are expected within days - a major step toward eventually ending the pandemic.

Despite the UK's medicines regulator certifying that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is safe to use, ministers are concerned that false anti-vaxxer propaganda online could hinder efforts to inoculate the population.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, which licenses drugs in the United Kingdom, recommended the vaccine for emergency use after it reviewed a raft of data, including the results of clinical trials that showed it was 95% effective and offered significant protection for older people, among those most at risk of dying from the disease.

Experts caution that a vaccine cleared for emergency use is still experimental and the final testing must be completed.

"This is, without any shadow of a doubt, an historic day", said David Harper, senior consulting fellow in global health at the Chatham House think tank.

Asked by Ashton to explain "what takes so long" to get the COVID-19 vaccines through the emergency use authorization process, Hahn explained the rigorous process the FDA goes through for approval.

Pfizer and BioNTech added that they expected further regulatory decisions from other countries "in the coming days and weeks".

Pfizer and BioNTech expect to produce up to 50 million vaccine doses worldwide by the end of the year and up to 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.

The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine, enough to immunize 20 million people, less than a third of its population.

But doses are scarce as production ramps up.

The German company has partnered with Pfizer to deliver the vaccine worldwide, except in China where local company Fosun Pharma will handle distribution.

But doses everywhere are scarce and initial supplies will be rationed until more is manufactured in the first several months of next year.

The fifth tier will extend to over 65s, before a sixth tier sees all those aged 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions that put them at a higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 offered the vaccine. The doses will be shipped to the truck or plane and become available there next week, according to BioNTech executives.

Older care home residents and their carers will be the highest priority to receive the vaccine, followed by those over 80 years of age and frontline health workers.

The European Union (EU), Japan, Canada and Australia are all running rapid vaccine regulatory processes.

More news: Covid-19: Pfizer Vaccine Ready for Use Next Week in UK

Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine at George Washington University, says approval of Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine will follow in the USA, shortly.

The FDA has been reviewing Pfizer's clinical trial data since receiving their emergency authorization approval application on November 20.

Delivery timelines vary and most countries are still drawing up plans for distributing and administering shots.

Getting that message to the public will be critical if any vaccination program is to be successful.

Some people are anxious about getting any vaccine, never mind a new one.

I live in the U.K. How will I know when I can get a shot?

"Of course, there has been progress made there, but we have to be honest with people and say there is some way to go yet". "People are dying of COVID, so you make that decision: do you want to die or do you want the vaccine?"

The vaccine needs to be kept at -70 degrees, and specialised freezers are needed to store the vaccine.

Pfizer said it has no current plans to provide the vaccine to private sector buyers in Britain.

Who would get an approved vaccine and when in the US?

In contrast, China and Russian Federation have offered different vaccinations to their citizens ahead of late-stage testing.

Upon authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the CDC has said first in line for vaccinations would be about 21 million healthcare workers and 3 million residents in long-term care facilities.

The companies also reported no serious side effects, although vaccine recipients may experience temporary pain and flu-like reactions immediately after injections.

The vaccine also has been tested in only a small number of children, none younger than 12, and there's no information on its effects in pregnant women.

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