Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine could get UK approval this week: Report

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine could get UK approval this week: Report

FILE PHOTO: Pfizer's logo is reflected in a drop on a syringe needle in this illustration
Pfizer's logo is reflected in a drop on a syringe needle. (File photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration)

LONDON: 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 (Nov 22).

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

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

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

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.

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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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Source: Reuters/ic

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