The United Kingdom has become the first country across the world to approve the use of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
The news broke across the world at a time when cases of the virus were surging all over, giving hope of controlling the pandemic soon.
UK orders 40 million jabs
According to reports, the UK has already placed down an order to 40 million jabs, which are enough for 20 million people. This is because the Pfizer vaccine will be given in two doses, 21 days apart.
The Pfizer vaccine had become the fastest vaccine to have ever been developed in history. The vaccine, from start to end, following the same steps of vaccine development, has taken just ten months, a significant reduction from 10 years it takes to develop a vaccine. The vaccine also has the highest efficacy, with 95 per cent COVID prevention efficiency.
Vaccination to start next week
The UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, said that they would start giving out jabs of the vaccine from next week. They will begin with 800,000 doses. The first to receive the jab will be the elderly in elderly homes. The Care Home staff will also be high in the priority list, followed by those over 80 and health care staff.
The development is no doubt great news. However, health experts have raised concern over the ability of developing countries to handle the vaccine. Aside from it being costly, Pfizer also needs extremely low temperatures to preserve (up to -70 degrees Celcius). Most developing nations don’t have such facilities in their hospitals.
Other vaccines also in development are the Moderna Vaccine, as well as the Oxford University vaccine. Of these, the vaccine by Oxford University is the most affordable, as well as easier to store. Though the vaccine had a relatively low efficacy of 70 per cent, there can still be room for it to hit 90 per cent like Moderna and Pfizer.
The news is no doubt great news for many across the world.