Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could gain clearance in the UK by the end of the week, even before the formula receives approval from regulators in the US, The Telegraph reported on Sunday.
Citing government sources, the newspaper said that British regulators are about to begin their evaluation of the vaccine, developed by Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech SE, and that the National Health Service was ordered to start administering doses of the vaccine formula from December 1st.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Friday that its evaluation team will meet on December 10th to discuss the authorization of Pfizer’s vaccine.
The UK Health Department had no comment on Sunday about when the first vaccines would be given in the country.
A spokesperson said the authorization process by the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is independent from the government and will take as long as necessary to review the findings of Pfizer’s clinical trials.
“An enormous amount of planning has been done to ensure that our health service is ready to launch a vaccine against COVID-19,” added the spokesperson.
Last week, the UK formally asked its medical regulator, the MHRA, to assess the suitability of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The government ordered 40 million doses and expects to have 10 million vials available, enough to protect 5 million people, by the end of the year if regulators approve Pfizer’s immunization.
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