The U.K. on Wednesday has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for widespread use, becoming the first country to do so.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the programme would begin early next week.
“The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the Independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTechs COVID-19 vaccine for use,” a media statement said.
“The vaccine will be made available across the U.K. from next week.”
Pfizer in a statement said that Britain’s emergency use authorization marks a historic moment in the fight against COVID-19.
“This authorization is a goal we have been working toward since we first declared that science will win, and we applaud the MHRA for their ability to conduct a careful assessment and take timely action to help protect the people of the U.K.,”, said CEO Albert Bourla.
“As we anticipate further authorizations and approvals, we are focused on moving with the same level of urgency to safely supply a high-quality vaccine around the world.”
As being reported, the UK has already ordered 40m doses – enough to vaccinate 20m people.