U.K. Approves Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 Vaccine

The U.K. has become the first country to give emergency approval to the experimental COVID-19 vaccine from drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech.
Posted at 12:24 PM, Dec 02, 2020

The United Kingdom is the first country to approve Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine. The reaction from Londoners-mixed. 

"Personally, I would not want to take it because I think things are happening too quickly," said Tia Stephen, a London resident.

 Jacqueline Roubians, a London resident, told the AP, "I mean, people are dying of COVID so you make that decision: do you want to die or do you want the vaccine?"

"I'm pretty confident to take it. You know, I think definitely myself and my family will be taking it because we need to get back to normal, I've had enough," Abi Babalola, another London resident, said.

The two-dose shots could start being distributed next week. In trials, this vaccine showed to be 95% effective.

"This vaccine, produced and developed by Pfizer BioNTech, meets rigorous high standards of safety, of effectiveness and of quality, the public's safety has always been at the forefront of our minds," Dr. June Raine, chief executive for the U.K.'s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, said. 

U.K. regulators say a "rolling review" of data had been used to make the most of time and was why approval happened so quickly, adding it "doesn't mean that any corners have been cut." The U.K. has secured enough doses for 20 million people but it’s unclear how many will arrive by the end of December. Priority is going to people 75 and older. 

"The risk of dying from COVID-19 is very strongly associated with age. Age is by far the single most important factor in terms of risk from COVID-19," said professor Wei Shen Lim, chairman of the  U.K. Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.