United Kingdom may be days away from approving Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine


Commenting on vaccine after the G20 Summit on Sunday, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged COVAX, an initiative set up to provide vaccines to poorer countries, to start talks immediately with producers, per Reuters.

Pfizer on Friday said that it was moving ahead with its request of asking the U.S. regulators to grant emergency approval of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which has shown 95 per cent efficacy in a totality of two data sets released recently.

However, the proceedings are taking longer in the USA, forcing a delay in the rollout of the vaccine there, even though Pfizer is an American drug behemoth.

Government sources tell the paper, officials are set to start a formal appraisal of the vaccine, and that the National Health Service had been told to be ready to administer it by December 1.

On Friday, Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, said he was growing "more and more confident" that life will be closer to normal in spring.

Pfizer has promised to deliver 10 million of the 40 million doses ordered by the United Kingdom by the end of this year, with hopes of results soon from trials of vaccines being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.

Oxford Covid-19 vaccine produces strong immune response in older adults
Only then is the FDA expected to grant full approval, which would allow vaccinations of the general population. The state company has yet to provide any clinical evidence of efficacy.

"That is likely to happen in the month of May or something like that based on our plans."He continued: "I really hope and look forward to seeing the level of the negative perception of the vaccine decrease and people's acceptance increases". Also in the list of priority are care home workers as well as health care professionals and social workers.

Apart from the Pfizer vaccine, other jabs are also in the pipeline in the UK.

Dr Moncef Slaoui, head of the U.S. vaccine programme, told CNN that the vaccine could be rolled out "maybe a day or two after approval, on the 11th or the 12th of December".

By the end of 2020, Moderna expects to produce approximately 20 million doses of its mRNA-1273 vaccine. Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific adviser for Operation Warp Speed, said the FDA would greenlight the inoculation programme any day after December 10.

Pfizer's Coronavirus vaccine could get the green light in the U.K.in less than a week, the Telegraph reports, citing unidentified government sources.