The UK has become the first country in the world to approve the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, 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.
The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine, enough to vaccinate 20 million people.
Around 10 million doses will be available for use in the UK shortly for priority groups, including healthcare workers.
A list of who will receive the vaccine first will be set out later on Wednesday.
BREAKING NEWS: The Government has accepted @MHRAgovuk recommendation for authorisation of @Pfizer and @BioNTech_Group's #COVID19 vaccine for use in the UK.— Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk) December 2, 2020
✅ clinical trials
✅ analysis of the data
✅ MHRA authorised
Read full statement: https://t.co/2aCQFySAAT pic.twitter.com/XhPVN9cc5Q
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) had approved the jab after “months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts” from the regulator.
He said they have concluded that the vaccine has “met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness”.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News the UK was the first country in the world to have a “clinically authorised vaccine”.
He added: “This is fantastic news.
Here’s a round-up of reaction from elsewhere:
Absolutely superb news. Wonderful. Thanks to all the researchers and indeed everyone involved in the testing and approval process who’ve moved so quickly and efficiently to get this first vaccine ready for use. Finally, light at the end of the tunnel. https://t.co/JZUg091HkJ— Brian Cox (@ProfBrianCox) December 2, 2020
Only a cynic could think the Government announced a few mins ago the Pfizer vaccine’s UK approval, jabs possibly starting next week, to take the news heat off Johnson and Ministers after last night’s biggest Con revolt against the PM. Discussing on @GMB in a mo— Kevin Maguire (@Kevin_Maguire) December 2, 2020
Light at the end of a very dark tunnel, finally.— Dr Amir Khan GP (@DrAmirKhanGP) December 2, 2020
Please don’t buy into any of the antivax nonsense. This has gone through rigorous safety tests and I will be happy to have mine.
The more people that get vaccinated, the quicker normality can return. https://t.co/0bHazxdMqm
This is brilliant news. Thank you, science ??— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) December 2, 2020
The approval of the covid vaccine & its roll out is a triumph of science— nazir afzal (@nazirafzal) December 2, 2020
Pfizer’s vaccine was developed by a company in Germany created by 2 Immigrant Muslim scientists so it’s also a triumph of diversity & equal opportunity
Ready to Roll My Sleeves Up & applaud them all
SCOTCH EGGS ALL ROUND! https://t.co/yWTSaebhVM— Greg James (@gregjames) December 2, 2020
Thank you to all those involved in this wonderful news – from the brilliant scientists to the trial volunteers.— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) December 2, 2020
We must now ensure vaccines are rolled out safely but swiftly across the country. https://t.co/DDueB5QpWw