UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday, December 2, hailed the country's approval for the use of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine as "fantastic" news that would help life get back to normal.
"It's the protection of vaccines that will ultimately allow us to reclaim our lives and get the economy moving again," PM Johnson said.
The United Kingdom on Wednesday became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use.
Both Pfizer-BioNTech and U.S. biotech firm Moderna have reported preliminary findings of over 90% effectiveness, which is an unexpectedly high rate in trials of their vaccines.
Britain will begin vaccinating common people early next week after it gets 800,000 doses from Pfizer's manufacturing centre in Belgium. The speed of the rollout depends on how fast Pfizer can manufacture and deliver the vaccine.
The news comes as a major breakthrough at a time when the deadly Coronavirus pandemic has claimed nearly 1.5 million lives and affected the global economy.
"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," the UK government said.
Britain's vaccine committee will decide on the priority groups that will first get the vaccine including care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
At least 50 hospitals are set up across England and waiting to accept the vaccine, large vaccination centres are also being set up now. Local health centres known as general practitioners (GPs) and pharmacists will also provide vaccination in the community.