Coronavirus vaccine | Pfizer could get U.K. approval this week, says Telegraph

 thehindu.com  11/22/2020 21:22:10 

Britain could give regulatory approval to Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine this week, even before the United States authorises it, the Telegraph news site reported on Sunday.

Citing government sources, it said British regulators were about to start a formal appraisal of the vaccine, made by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE, and that the National Health Service had been told to be ready to administer it by December 1.

Also read: Coronavirus | Pfizer ends COVID-19 vaccine trial with 95% efficacy, to seek emergency-use authorisation

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Friday that it would meet on December 10 to discuss whether to authorise the vaccine.

The U.K. Department of Health had no comment on Sunday on when the first vaccinations would be administered.

Also read: Pfizer seeking emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine in U.S.

A spokesman said the authorisation process by the medical regulator Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is independent of the government and will take as long as they need to review the final data from Pfizer.

An enormous amount of planning has taken place to ensure our health service stands ready to roll out a COVID-19 vaccine, the spokesman added.

Also read: Coronavirus | Israel signs deal with Pfizer for potential COVID-19 vaccine

Britain formally asked its medical regulator, the MHRA, last week to assess the suitability of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Britain has ordered 40 million doses and expects to have 10 million doses, enough to protect 5 million people, available by the end of the year if regulators approve it.

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