The MHRA, the UK Agency for Medicines and Health Products, has approved on Wednesday the use and distribution of the coronavirus vaccine developed by the American pharmaceutical company Pfizer and the German company BioNTech. While the rest of Europe will have to wait until December 29, the British population is expected to start receiving the vaccine next week.
Now that the UK Medicines Agency gives its approval for the application of the Pfizer vaccine, it becomes the first country in the world to use the Pfizer vaccine. It is also the first Western country to start vaccination against COVID-19 – Russia and China have already carried out similar processes.
According to studies, the vaccine has a 95% success rate, so the UK has already purchased 40 million doses. Due to the agreement of the European Commission, 200 million doses have been purchased, of which 20 million correspond to Spain.
Next week, some 800,000 initial doses of the vaccine will arrive at British hospitals so that they can begin the process of vaccinating the population.
The UK has assigned priority groups to receive the Pfizer vaccine
The British Government has declared that the most vulnerable groups will be those who have priority to receive the vaccine. Thus, nine priority groups have been formed, very similar to the one formed by the vaccination plan in Spain. Sorted from highest to lowest preference, the groups that will receive their vaccine first will be:
- Elderly in nursing homes and staff who care for them
- Older than 80 years and medical personnel
- Over 75 years
- People over 80 years old
- People over 65
- People between 16 and 65 years of age with previous health problems and who are at risk of contagion
- Over 60 years
- People over 55 years old
- People 50 and over
The rest of those 40 million ordered doses are expected to be available from the beginning of 2021. Each person will receive two doses of the vaccine, with about a month in between. It is expected that by April 2021, the British population will have returned to a certain normality, and that by summer, they can lead a normal life without any type of restriction.