United Kingdom on Wednesday became apparently the first country in the whole world to approve the use of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 pandemic disease. They informed the media that they are planning to roll out the first stock of the vaccine from next week. The vaccine has been authorised for emergency use by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA).
The MHRA was given authority to approve the vaccine by the government under special regulations before 1 January, when it will become entirely responsible and accountable for medicines authorisation in the United Kingdom after Brexit.
British media have also reported that hospitals in England have been directed to get ready to start doing vaccinations for medical workers as early as next week.
Meanwhile, Pfizer said it would immediately begin shipping initially limited supplies to the U.K. — and has been gearing up for even wider distribution if given a similar nod by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a decision expected as early as next week.
But doses everywhere are scarce in number, and initial supplies will be rationed until more is manufactured in the beginning of the year 2021.