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United Kingdom approves new Covid-19 vaccine, first jabs start next week

Caitlin Ashworth

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The United Kingdom approved the new Covid-19 vaccine by Pfizer-BioNTech for emergency use and will start injections next week. The UK became the first country in the world to license the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which Pfizer says marks a historic moment in the fight against the coronavirus.

The UK purchased 40 million doses of the vaccine and 800,000 doses will be available next week, according to Health Secretary Matt Hancock. He says the most vulnerable people will get the first jabs. 50 hospitals are ready to receive the vaccine, he says.

“From early next week we will start the programme of vaccinating people against Covid-19 here in this country… It’s very good news.”

The new Covid-19 vaccine was authorised for emergency use by the private Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla says the company applauds the agency for conducting a careful, yet timely, assessment of the vaccine.

“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.”

The vaccine has been shown to have a 95% efficacy in its final trials. A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson says the approval of the vaccine follows months of rigorous clinical trials and experts have concluded that the vaccine meets strict safety, quality and effectiveness standards.

SOURCES: Reuters | Guardian

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Issan John

    Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 6:24 pm

    Even if I could get the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, I wouldn’t take it – not because I’m “anti-vax” but because the mRNA technology is still largely untested and all the vaccine appears to do is make 95% of those vaccinated asymptomatic (up from 80%), nothing more, which means that IF that’s the case it won’t be acceptable to many countries as a “Pass” without quarantine as you can still be as contagious as if you hadn’t been vaccinated at all.

    IF.

    IF so, then I’d prefer to wait for the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is far more likely to stop also you being contagious – but which almost certainly won’t if you’ve already had the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.

    • Avatar

      Preesy Chepuce

      Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 9:31 pm

      I agree that the AZ vaccine is the one, but I think the point of this is to establish the process of rapid approval, and there’s talk of the MHRA process being essentially franchised around the world, and the world following British standards, because pharma is one area where the UK excels.

      • Avatar

        Manue,

        Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 11:23 pm

        Jesus, it is like talking about getting the last fashionable smartphone or whatever useless item? 2 people, real people, talking about that fashionable vaccin, no idea what they are talking about, but which one do you buy? we have first humans in real life to take it. Let’s see how it works now, got a bad feeling, probably me being too paranoid.. just hope it all all works out now, don’t mind me being… interrogative though

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 11:40 am

        I don’t think it’s “talk”!

        Pfizer / BioNTech have already said they’ll sell the franchise, but why would anyone want to buy it?

        It’s less effective than Moderna’s with a higher percentage of serious symptoms (5 percentage points higher, so twice as bad), double the price of Moderna’s (and well over ten time the price of AZ’s), with an incredibly complex and expensive transport and storage requirement as it has to be kept at -70c or used within five days as soon as the temperature goes above that, while at least Moderna’s ‘only’ has to be kept at -20c.

        On top of that, the mRNA vaccines appear very clearly to do nothing to reduce transmission at all (literally nothing) as all they do is make 90 – 95% of those vaccinated asymptomatic, so they’re still just as likely to be contagious as those who haven’t been vaccinated.

        Pfizer / BioNTech must be relieved that they’ve managed to sell what’s essentially a massively over-priced and not particularly effective vaccine to a bunch of suckers desperate to salvage some political profit out of the shambles they’ve created, but I think the idea that “the world [is] following British standards” is lioving in la-la land.

        • Avatar

          London Al

          Monday, December 7, 2020 at 11:54 pm

          This is just the sort of scaremongering garbage which should be banned from social media and forums such as this, RNA vaccines work by introducing into the body a messenger RNA (mRNA) sequence that contains the genetic instructions for the vaccinated person’s own cells to produce the vaccine antigens and generate an immune response.

          In addition -70c is the same temperature as required for dry ice, it’s not difficult.

          I’ll ignore the racist stuff.

  2. Avatar

    A

    Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 6:35 pm

    Russia and China are vaccinating people for long time already..LOL

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 11:43 am

      Actually Russia has vaccinated less than 19,000 with their Sputnik V vaccine, which means it hasn’t even reached the level of Stage 3 trials even though they’ve “approved” it, and China has yet to approve any of its vaccines.

  3. Avatar

    wiliian

    Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 8:40 pm

    I’ll go live in the sticks before I get the gates vaccine. This whole covid thing feels like a scam, Brought to you by the same folks who engineered 9/11 and the 2009 great financial crisis which allowed them to print money, get bailouts with my money to pay record bonuses and benefits and yachts. The government is the problem not the solution.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 11:53 am

      Ummm ….. sorry to disillusion you, but this isn’t “the gates vaccine”.

      The vaccine he’s backing will be produced by the Serum Institute of India at less than US$3 a jab, and will be either the AstraZeneca or Novavax vaccine, distributed by Gavi / Covax.

  4. Avatar

    Johnny Dee

    Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    Last week I told you the vaccine was coming guys the information I got was on the money,all the doubters and gloomers and you know who you are well let’s say a big Thankyou….. let’s just say and hope it’s spread out equally and ultimately rapidly and safe. There’s a long way to go but it’s a start on the long road back to some kind of normality. Take care guys

  5. Avatar

    Ameila Leary

    Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    All this is done because of the efforts of scientists and other medics, who put all their potential to do the job for people’s welfare. Vaccine protection for individuals over 65 years of age is over 94 per cent, according to the report. The Germans argue that the vaccine has not been tested for more than 65 years and it is not clear to children how long it will last, whether it is guaranteed to all vaccinated people, whether one is still affected and has side effects, as this can also be calculated.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 6:56 pm

      Could you say what “report” you’re talking about that puts the protection rate at 94% for those over 65?

      That isn’t in any medical reports or in any reports from Pfizer / BioNTech, nor were those over 65 tested sufficiently to support that figure.

      The EU objections to approval aren’t that it “has not been tested for more than 65 years” but that it hasn’t been tested sufficiently on those who are most vulnerable, which includes the elderly – Pfizer’s age bracket was “between 55 and 81”, IIRC.

      Perfectly reasonable, since doing nothing “gives protection” of over 80%, and Moderna’s vaccine offers more protection for the vulnerable at half the price and with far simpler storage and distribution issues and was also tested more thoroughly with those who need it most, while AstraZeneca’s may well offer more at a fraction of the price, without the storage and distribution issues, and with the added benefit of reducing transmission and contagion which the mRNA vaccines don’t.

      Hardly surprising that the two countries rushing to approve the vaccine in undue haste before the end of the year are the UK and the US, whose leaders have made the worst shambles of Covid in the West and who are desperate to take some credit to salvage what they can of their political reputations.

  6. Avatar

    Peter

    Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    I say the politicians should have to take any vaccine first. If it doesn’t kill them then we will know that the vaccine is safe. If it does kill them then the country will be safe. Its a win-win.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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