The Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech has been approved in the UK, paving the way for vaccination to start next week.
The jab has been shown in studies to be 95 per cent effective and works in all age groups.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “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.
“This follows months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA who have concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.
“The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) will shortly also publish its latest advice for the priority groups to receive the vaccine, including care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and the clinically extremely vulnerable.
“The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week.”
How will a vaccine be rolled out?
Work has been going on behind the scenes to ensure that NHS staff are ready to start delivering jabs to the most vulnerable, as well as health and care workers, as a priority.
The NHS Nightingale Hospitals have also been earmarked as sites for mass vaccination clinics – among other uses.
In addition, NHS leaders have said there will be “roving teams” deployed to vaccinate care home residents and workers.
Based on the current information, the vaccines being developed require two doses per patient, with a 21 to 28 day gap between doses.
New regulations allowing more healthcare workers to administer flu and potential Covid-19 vaccines have also been introduced by the Government.
Who is top of the list to get a coronavirus vaccine?
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has examined data on who suffers the worst outcomes from coronavirus and who is at highest risk of death.
Its interim guidance says the order of priority should be:
- Older adults in a care home and care home workers
- All those who are 80 years of age and over and health and social care workers
- All those who are 75 years of age and over
- All those who are 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals, excluding pregnant women and those under 18 years of age
- All those who are 65 years of age and over
- Adults aged 18 to 65 years in an at-risk group
- All those aged 60 and over
- All those aged 55 and over
- All those aged 50 and over