British officials authorized a COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use on Wednesday, greenlighting the world’s first shot against the virus that’s backed by rigorous science and taking a major step toward eventually ending the pandemic.
The vaccine developed by American drugmaker Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech will come into the picture as the number of coronavirus cases continue to increase again in the United States and Europe, adding pressure on hospitals and morgues in some places to invent solution soon.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, the body issuing licenses to drugs in the U.K., recommended that the coronavirus vaccine could be used after they reviewed the clinical trial results of the vaccine which was 95% effective overall. But the vaccine remains experimental while final testing is done.
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the media, “Help is on its way,'' and added that the current situation is expected to improve in the spring.
“We now have a vaccine. We're the first country in the world to have one formally clinically authorized but, between now and then, we've got to hold on, we've got to hold our resolve," he said.
Other countries are also working hard to get authorization. Regulators in the United States and the European Union also are coming up with the Pfizer shot with a similar vaccine made by competitor Moderna Inc. British regulators also are working on another shot made by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.