The United Kingdom will start vaccinating members of the public against Coronavirus Next week – a milestone in the global race to combat a pandemic that has killed 1.5 million people.
On Wednesday, the UK government became the first Western country Officially authorize One of dozens of vaccines that have been developed since the beginning of the epidemic. Citing “months of rigorous clinical trials and comprehensive data analysis,” the UK has approved the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine, which trials have shown is safe and 95% effective in preventing COVID-19.
In a TV interview, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock praised the government regulators’ speed, but added: “The vaccine will not be approved if it is not clinically safe.”
The Pfizer vaccine is one of three in its late-stage experimental data to date. Experiment results For the second time, Made by ModernaAnd the It is shown to be 94% effective. Makers III, University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, Released data showing 70% effectiveness In general, though, questions have been asked about the design of the experiment. All vaccines require two injections to work. The UK has yet to approve the vaccine for Moderna or the University of Oxford / AstraZeneca.
In the United States, both the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine Awaiting emergency approval From the Food and Drug Administration. On December 10, a committee of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will meet to consider licensing a Pfizer vaccine.
Although the initial vaccinations will likely start this month, ensuring that enough people have access to control the epidemic will be a major logistical challenge spanning months. The companies that produce the approved vaccines will need to manufacture many millions of doses, and governments around the world will need to buy them, store them and know how to get them to people as quickly as possible.
Who should receive the first vaccinations available is a subject of intense debate. The first doses in the UK It is more likely to go to healthcare workersBecause of their high exposure to the virus and also because the Pfizer vaccine must be stored in extremely cold temperatures, which is easy to do in hospitals. Next in line will be the elderly who live in nursing homes and the people who care for them.
in the United States of America The CDC voted on Tuesday To recommend that health care workers and people living in nursing homes should be vaccinated before anyone else. The commission’s recommendations will help state governors determine who has the highest priority.