UK Grants Emergency Approval to Pfizer-Biontech Vaccine

Britain is the first country to grant emergency approval to Biontech and Pfizer’s vaccine. 

Biontec the US pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer announced on Wednesday morning that the British Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has granted the first approval for the joint Covid-19 vaccine. A spokesman for the UK Ministry of Health confirmed the approval. It is therefore the world’s first corona vaccine that can be brought onto the market after it has been fully tested for effectiveness and tolerability. Pfizer and Biontech want to begin shipping the vaccine in the UK immediately. There is a contract with the UK for 40 million doses for 20 million vaccinations. The companies did not say how much vaccine will be delivered to the British in the first shipments.

While vaccination centers are being built up everywhere in Germany, it is more likely that the first people there will be immunized against Covid-19 this year. After the pharmaceutical manufacturer Moderna applied for approval of its vaccine for the European market on Monday, the Mainz-based company Biontech and its American partner Pfizer are now reporting the documents for a conditional approval of their corona vaccine to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to have submitted. The decision should be made by December 29th at the latest. If the authority complies with the application, according to the two pharmaceutical companies, the first vaccinations with the preparation called BNT162b2 could be given in Europe in December.

The efficacy data that Biontech and Pfizer publish in a press release are similar to that of Moderna. In the clinical phase 3 study, the vaccine protected 95 percent of the test subjects from Covid 19 disease. Even with study participants who had already gone through a Sars-CoV-2 infection, vaccination protection was built up by the preparation. Information on how well immunization works in different age groups is also particularly relevant. In addition, Biontech and Pfizer report that the effectiveness of the vaccine was “consistent across all age and gender groups and across the diverse study population.” For over 65-year-olds, who have the greatest risk of a severe course of Covid-19, vaccination protection was 94 percent, according to the pharmaceutical companies. Serious side effects have not occurred so far, overall the vaccine was well tolerated.