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UK urges regulators to evaluate Pfizer vaccine suitability

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London (Reuters)-The UK has formally requested MHRA, a healthcare regulator, to evaluate the suitability of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. This is the first step in enabling vaccination outside the United States.

File photo: Taken on November 10, 2020, the syringe can be seen in front of the Biontech and Pfizer logos displayed. REUTERS / DadoRuvic / Illustration / File Photo

The UK has ordered 40 million doses of vaccine. It has been found to be 95% effective in preventing the spread of the virus, which has killed more than 1.3 million people worldwide and is crippling the world economy.

British health minister Matt Hancock said the government has taken a step after the two companies applied for an emergency license in the United States.

“It gave us confidence … to formally start the process here,” he said at a press conference.

“This is another important step in tackling this pandemic,” he said. “Once the vaccine is approved, it is, of course, available from the United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS) throughout the UK and, if needed, free of charge at delivery, not payable.”

See graphics, COVID-19 Global Tracker. here

According to Hancock, Pfizer-BioNTech has already begun providing data to healthcare regulators and will submit more in the coming days.

Pfizer spokesman Andy Widger said the company continues to work closely with MHRA and is in the process of providing data for regulators to make a full assessment.

MHRA has launched a rapid review of shots to speed up the process of approving successful vaccines in the country by allowing researchers to submit findings in real time without waiting for the end of the study. did.

The purpose of the “rolling review” is to speed up the evaluation of promising medicines during a pandemic while maintaining the same standards of safety and efficacy.

The UK will be vaccinated with 10 million doses, enough to protect 5 million people by the end of the year, if approved by regulators.

Health officials emphasized that MHRA is independent and highly valued. Jonathan Van Ness, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the United Kingdom, said MHRA works “at the speed of science.”

Report by Kate Holton and Elizabeth Piper in London, additional report by Karl O’Donnell in New York.Edited by Stephen Addison, Matthew Lewis, Kirsten Donovan

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