09:57 Wednesday, 02 December 2020
The UK became the first government in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech jab.
A Covid-19 vaccine could be available in Northern Ireland from as early as next week.
The Pfizer-BioNTech jab, which is 95 per cent effective, has been approved for use by UK authorities.
It’s the first country in the world to approve the vaccine for widespread roll-out, and Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann welcomed the news.
“This is a hugely significantly day,” he said.
“My department has the plans and preparations in place. There will still be difficult days ahead, and people must not let their guard down, but there are brighter days ahead.”
The British government has ordered 40 million doses with healthcare staff and nursing home residents expected to be the first to get it.
“The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for use,” a spokesperson said.
“The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week.”
Pfizer said Britain’s emergency use authorisation marks a historic moment in the fight against Covid-19.
“This authorisation is a goal we have been working toward since we first declared that science will win, and we applaud the MHRA for their ability to conduct a careful assessment and take timely action to help protect the people of the UK,” said CEO Albert Bourla.
“As we anticipate further authorisations and approvals, we are focused on moving with the same level of urgency to safely supply a high-quality vaccine around the world.”
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock says it’ll be given out in three places.