On Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, The United Kingdom became the first western nation to authorized a COVID-19 vaccine, a landmark movement in the coronavirus pandemic that paves the way for the first doses to be rolled out across the country next week.
The announcement means the UK has vaulted past the United States and European Union in the race to approve a vaccine, months into a pandemic that has killed almost 1.5 million people worldwide.
“We believe it is really the start of the end of the pandemic,” BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin told CNN in an exclusive interview on Wednesday. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla hailed the emergency authorization as “a historic moment in the fight against Covid-19.”
The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine — enough to vaccinate 20 million people. Hancock told the BBC that an initial 800,000 doses would be delivered from Pfizer’s facilities in Belgium to the UK next week, and “many millions” more before the end of the year. Elderly people in care homes, those who care for them, health workers and other vulnerable people will be top of the priority list.
The UK health department said the approval “follows months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data” by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which had “concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.” MHRA Chief Dr. June Raine, insisted that “no corners have been cut” during a news conference Wednesday.
What this means for travels
This means that from March 2021, things would likely have returned to normal. Currently, most countries are eager to commence mass immunization to aid the urgent eradication of the virus. About 13 African countries have also began mass treatment for COVID-19 in a bid to gain more research data on the treatment of COVID-19.
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