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UK to use Pfizer vaccines from next week

British regulator, the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA), says the vaccine, which offers up to 95% protection against Covid-19 virus, is safe for distribution next week.

The UK has already ordered 40m doses, enough to vaccinate 20m people.
Around 10m doses should be available soon, with the first 800,000 arriving in the UK in the coming days.

Experts have drawn up a provisional priority list, targeting people at highest risk. Top are care home residents and staff, followed by people over 80 and other health and social care workers.

They will receive the first stocks of the vaccine, some as soon as next week. Mass vaccination for everyone over 50 years of age, as well as younger people with pre-existing health conditions, is possible as more stocks become available in 2021. It is given as two injections, 21 days apart, with the second dose being a booster.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told BBC Breakfast that people will be contacted by the NHS (National health service) when it is their turn for the injection.

NHS Chief Executive, Sir Simon Stevens, said the health service was preparing for “The largest-scale vaccination campaign in our country’s history”.
Around 50 hospitals are on standby and vaccination centers in venues such as conference centers are being set up now.

It is the fastest ever vaccine to go from concept to reality, taking only 10 months to follow the same developmental steps that normally span a decade.


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