UK authorizes Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for emergency use

Virus Outbreak Vaccine Plan

FILE – In this July 30, 2020 photo, Kai Hu, a research associate transfers medium to cells, in the laboratory at Imperial College in London. Imperial College is working on the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. In a report to Congress and an accompanying “playbook” for states and localities, key federal health agencies and the Defense Department sketched out complex plans for a vaccination campaign to begin gradually early next year or later in 2020, eventually ramping up to reach any American who wants a shot. The Pentagon is involved with the distribution of vaccines, but civilian health workers will be the ones giving shots. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

LONDON (AP) — Britain has authorized a COVID-19 vaccine for use, greenlighting the first shot backed up by rigorous scientific review.

The first vaccinations are expected within days — a major step toward eventually ending the pandemic.

The go-ahead Wednesday for the vaccine from American drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech comes as the virus surges again in the United States and Europe. Officials cautioned that several tough months still lie ahead, even in Britain, given the scale of the operation needed to vaccinate large swaths of the population.

Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency recommended the vaccine for emergency use after it reviewed data, including testing that showed it was 95% effective.

Categories: Coronavirus, National News