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Covid-19: UK approves Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine with rollout due to start next week

BMJ 2020; 371 doi: (Published 02 December 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m4714

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  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

The UK’s independent Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved Pfizer and BioNTech’s covid-19 vaccine, with rollout now set to begin as early as next week, the government has announced.

The mRNA vaccine, BNT162b2, was found to be up to 95% effective 28 days after the first dose in a phase III trial.1 The study evaluated 170 confirmed cases of covid-19, 162 of which were observed in the placebo group. There were 10 severe cases, nine of which were in the placebo group.

The UK has secured a deal for 40 million doses of the vaccine (enough to vaccinate 20 million people), and delivery will be staggered throughout 2020 and 2021. Care home residents and workers will be prioritised to receive the vaccine first, followed by healthcare workers and people over 80.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said, “The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week. The NHS has decades of experience in delivering …

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