The UK’s medicines regulator has approved the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19 for emergency use, the companies said today.
The UK is the first country to approve the vaccine for widespread use — paving the way for some of the most “high risk” citizens, such as elderly care home residents and front-line healthcare workers, to get the jab before the end of the year.
The BBC reports that the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has said the vaccine is safe to be rolled out from next week. Though it’s not yet clear exactly who will get the first doses.
The request for emergency authorization was submitted by BioNTech and Pfizer to the MHRA last month — as well as to regulators in Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan and the U.S., none of which has yet given the go ahead.
In a statement, Albert Bourla, chairman and CEO of Pfizer,