London, December 2: The COVID-19 vaccine developed by US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, in coordination with German drugmaker BioNtech, was approved for rollout by the United Kingdom government on Wednesday. In a statement issued by the UK Health Department, it was stated that the drug regulators have cleared the use of the vaccine candidate.

The statement further noted that mass vaccination in the UK will begin from next week. The vaccine would be made available in all parts of the country. The Boris Johnson-led government, over the past several months, had been ramping up the cold storage supply chain network for the smooth supply of the doses to even the remotest parts of the country. COVID-19 Vaccine to be Administered For Free in Japan, Yoshihide Suga Govt Passes Bill in Parliament.

“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,” said a statement issued by the government.

Pfizer-BioNtech had applied for regulatory approval before the British regulatory agency last week, after its final set of data showed 95 percent efficacy in prevent coronavirus infections.

With the rollout permit issued by the UK, the country would become first in the world to begin mass vaccination. In select-nations, the experimental vaccines have so far been administered on healthcare and other frontline workers.

Historic Moment, Says Pfizer CEO

Pfizer-BioNtech combine has also won the race among the leading vaccine developers to clinch the first mass rollout approval from a country. While Oxford-AstraZeneca is yet to apply for authorisation, the application of Moderna Inc - whose candidate has shown 94.5 percent efficacy - is under consideration before the regulators in the US and Europe.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 02, 2020 01:04 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website