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The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use in the UK. Officials said the vaccine will be made available “from next week”. Speaking to Sky News, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Fantastic news! The MHRA has clinically authorised the vaccine for rollout. The NHS stands ready to make that happen.
“So from early next week we will start the process of vaccinating people against COVID-19 here in this country.
“As we know from early announcements this vaccine is effective and clinically safe.
“We have a vaccine, it’s great news.”
Addressing the death of his step-grandfather, he said: “I have a big and complicated and loving family. Losing a member of your family is obviously a big thing for anybody.
“It’s just made me more determined. This is a horrible disease and it just really brings it home to you when it’s a member of your own family.
“The work that we’re all doing together abiding by these rules, I know they are frustrating, but they’re there to tell you the limits of behaviour to keep people safe.
“It just underlines how important it is for people to abide by these rules.”
He added: “Help is on its way but we still have to get from here to there.
“End is in sight.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for use. This follows months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA who have concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.
“The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) will shortly also publish its latest advice for the priority groups to receive the vaccine, including care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and the clinically extremely vulnerable.
“The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week.”
More to follow…
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