Boosting the hope of bringing normalcy to the COVID raged world, the United Kingdom today approved the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech SE. It is all set to roll out the vaccine in Britain from next week, according to a statement from the U.K. government. The emergency authorization cleared the way for the deployment of a vaccine that’s expected to play a significant role in the global effort to halt the coronavirus.“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 UK government said in a statement.
Britain's approval of BioNTech-Pfizer's vaccine against Covid-19 marks a "historic moment" in the battle against the pandemic, the US pharma group's chief executive said. "Today's Emergency Use Authorisation in the UK marks a historic moment in the fight against Covid-19," said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.
The U.K. has ordered enough doses of the two-shot Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to immunize 20 million people. The companies also have deals to supply hundreds of millions of shots to Europe, the U.S., Japan and elsewhere.
The Pfizer was among the front runners to development of COVID vaccine. The company following the trials have claimed that the vaccine has an efficacy of over 90%. But in India, there are challenges for this vaccine. Apart from being expensive, the country is not prepared with the delivery chain which requires extremely low-temperature storage. The novel technology with which the Pfizer vaccine is based on synthetic mRNA to activate the immune system This needs to be kept at a temperature of minus 70 degrees Celsius or below. Hence it is highly unlikely that Pfizer’s vaccine will be available in India immediately
For India, the best chance is for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine which is under trials carried out by Pune’s Serum Institute. The indigenous vaccine being developed by Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad, in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will also be available for the general public soon.