The UK is poised to become the first country to approve the Kovid-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and BioNtech SE ahead of a long line of countries waiting for protection from coronavirus.
Approval is possible as early as next week, according to a person familiar with the situation, who asked not to be identified because the process is confidential.
The UK had long indicated that it would move fast on any promising vaccine candidate, and British doctors have been placed on standby for a possible rollout over Christmas. Russia and China have introduced vaccines for general use, but they are unlikely to be adopted in the US and Europe.
The British government implemented a special rule last week allowing its drug regulator to bypass its EU counterpart as the country prepares for the Brexit transition period later this year. And the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency of the UK has begun its quick review.
The UK foreign secretary said, “We expect the vaccine to be in a position to be adequately rolled out, subject to regulatory approval, that is to say, the spring enables us to make a big change in the way we see things.” Bring it. ” Dominic Raab told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show on Sunday. Raab said he hoped the vaccine roll-out could begin “before Christmas”, with life coming back to “something out of the ordinary” by spring 2021.
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Earlier this week, MHRA said it had the necessary data to assess whether the Pfizer vaccine met the required standards and would “make the decision in the shortest time possible, without compromising the completeness of our review.” The shot was 95% effective in a clinical trial of approximately 44,000 people, with no significant safety issues so far.
A MHRA spokesman declined to comment. Pfizer said in a statement that it does not anticipate how long the review process will last or how it will end. A BioNTech representative did not immediately comment.
The first injection may take place from December 7, the Financial Times previously reported.
The news that Britain may approve a vaccine comes in the form of Nadim Zahavi, who was a junior minister in the Department of Trade, appointed as the minister overseeing the rollout of the Kovid-19 vaccines.
The UK has ordered sufficient doses of the two-shot Pfizer-BioNotech vaccine to immunize 20 million people, although this quantity will certainly not be immediately available. The companies also have deals to deliver hundreds of millions of shots in Europe, America, Japan and elsewhere.
Pfizer-BioNTech Shot has gone from AstraZeneca PLC and Oxford University to head of the line after delays in testing a vaccine, which has also shown some promising signs in the preliminary results of extensive studies.
Another, from Modern Inc., has also demonstrated effectiveness in late-stage trials. The UK government has received another 2 million doses of the modern vaccine, taking the total to 7 million.
Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London and a government consultant, said he would be “surprised” if the vaccine becomes available as soon as possible next week.
“I know that regulators are looking very hard and doing everything they can to check all the data,” Openshaw told the Marr show. “I wouldn’t be too surprised if an announcement will be made within the next two weeks, possibly even early next week, but we’ll have to wait and see.”
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