The United Kingdom is preparing to roll out the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, initially making the shot available at hospitals before distributing stocks to the doctors’ clinics.
Last month, the US pharmaceutical company and its German partner said that their coronavirus vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 among those without evidence of prior infection, and added that no serious safety concerns had been observed among the more than 43,000 volunteers.
On Wednesday, the UK became the first country to grant emergency-use approval for the vaccine. The government ordered 40 million doses, enough to vaccinate 20 million people in the country of 67 million people.
The first doses of the vaccine are set to be administered on Tuesday, with the National Health Service giving top priority to care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and vulnerable people. Prime minister Boris Johnson said earlier that “it is the protection of vaccines that will ultimately allow us to reclaim our lives and get the economy moving again”.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II will receive the vaccine within weeks, local media reported on Sunday. The monarch, 94, and her 99-year-old husband Prince Philip are reportedly in line to get the jab early due to their age.