UK to be first country to get Covid vaccine from next week

2 December 2020, 07:58 | Updated: 2 December 2020, 08:30

The first Covid vaccine has been approved in the UK
The first Covid vaccine has been approved in the UK. Picture: Getty Images/PA Images

The UK will get the COVID vaccine from next week, with hospitals ready to roll it out.

The UK has become the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Health regulator MHRA has given it the go-ahead and it will be available from next week.

The government has now secured 40 million doses of the vaccine, which is enough to vaccinate 20 million people with two doses each.

Studies have shown the vaccine offers up to 95% protection against Covid-19 and works in all age groups.

The first 800,000 doses will be arriving in the UK in the coming days, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock Tweeting: "Help is on its way. The NHS stands ready to start vaccinating early next week."

Read More: All the things you can now do in Tiers 1, 2 and 3 as lockdown is lifted in England

He has since added: "The MHRA - the fiercely independent regulator - has clinically authorised the vaccine for roll-out.

"The NHS stands ready to make that happen so from early next week we will start the programme of vaccinating people against COVID-19 here in this country.

"As we know from earlier announcements, this vaccine is effective, the MHRA have approved it as clinically safe and we have a vaccine, so it's very good news."

Around 50 hospitals are currently on standby, while temporary vaccination centres are being set up in various venues across the country.

The Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: "The NHS has decades of experience in delivering large scale vaccination programmes and will begin putting their extensive preparations into action to provide care and support to all those eligible for vaccination.

"To aid the success of the vaccination programme it is vital everyone continues to play their part and abide by the necessary restrictions in their area so we can further suppress the virus and allow the NHS to do its work without being overwhelmed.

"Further details will be set out shortly."

Vaccinations will start for the most vulnerable people in society.

However, experts have warned that people still need to remain vigilant and follow social distancing rules to stop the spread.

Now Read: UK weather: First snow of winter expected in Britain today as temperatures plunge