U.K. poised to approve Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine next week: report

Britain is set to approve the coronavirus vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer next week and deliveries would begin within hours of the authorization, the Financial Times reported on Saturday.

The first immunizations using the BioNTech and Pfizer vaccine could take place from Dec. 7, the Financial Times said, citing unnamed sources.

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Earlier in the day, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson named Nadhim Zahawi, currently a junior business minister, as the minister responsible for the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines.

Britain said on Nov. 20 it had formally asked its medical regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), to assess the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for its suitability, the first step in making it available outside the United States.

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Britain has ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine, which has been found to be 95 per cent effective in preventing the spread of a virus that has killed more than 1.4 million people worldwide and crippled the global economy.

The government asked the regulator on Friday to assess AstraZeneca Plc’s COVID-19 vaccine for a possible rollout.

It has secured 100 million doses of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and has targeted a rollout to begin before Christmas.

Canadian public health officials said last week they plan to approve vaccines along similar timelines to the U.S. and European countries.

In a press conference on Thursday, Dr. Supriya Sharma, chief medical adviser at Health Canada, said the Pfizer vaccine could get approval from Canadian authorities in December.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Trudeau says majority of Canadians could be vaccinated by next September' 1:59 Coronavirus: Trudeau says majority of Canadians could be vaccinated by next September

Coronavirus: Trudeau says majority of Canadians could be vaccinated by next September

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