The British government has urged the National Health Service to be ready to deploy any COVID vaccine from the start of December, the health minister said on Tuesday.
Matt Hancock told a British news channel that there were many obstacles still to clear and the government would not deploy the shot until it was confident that it is clinical safe.
The development comes after preliminary results showed the Covid-19 vaccine being developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE prevented more than 90% of symptomatic infections. Pre-order of millions of doses of prospective vaccines have been already placed by the UK govt.
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The first doses of an experimental coronavirus vaccine are to be provided to the US and Europe as they are in line to get the doses first of an experimental coronavirus vaccine after a partnership between Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE delivered dazzling preliminary results in a large patient trial.
The Atlantic Ocean and the regulators on both sides of are working to speed a review of the shot’s safety and effectiveness after the data resulted it prevented more than 90% of infections. Monday’s release placed the two drug makers firmly in the lead of the vaccine race, ahead of Moderna Inc. and AstraZeneca Plc.
They will leave Pfizer and BioNTech with commitments to supply hundreds of millions of doses of a vaccine to the competing customers battling virus resurgence and they are eager to start vaccination campaigns as soon as possible if the results hold up.
The companies have signed in advance to purchase agreements for 100 million doses with the US and double that with the European Union, with options for more. Matt Hancock the health minister told BBC in another interview that people in Britain will be able to decide whether they want to have the coronavirus vaccine or not.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on Britons to keep following coronavirus restrictions despite early indications of a vaccine breakthrough, saying it is “very, very early days.”
In a press conference on Monday, he said while the world has “cleared one significant hurdle,” there are several more to go before a vaccine can be rolled out for the population.
England is presently in a partial lockdown state, with bars, pubs and non-essential shops forced to close and socializing strictly restricted until December 2. While Johnson hopes the lockdown can then be lifted and the country will be able to return to its localized three-tier approach of curbs.