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Sunday, February 28, 2021

UK first to approve Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

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Qatar has previously signed an agreement with the top pharmaceutical companies to obtain the long-awaited vaccine once it is finalised.

The UK became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for use, the government announced on Wednesday.

“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,” authorities said in a statement.

It is expected to be rolled out in the UK by next week.

Last month, US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German biotech firm BioNTech announced the-long-awaited coronavirus vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 among those without evidence of prior infection.

The vaccine manufacturers said that the vaccinated individuals and those who received a placebo indicated a vaccine efficacy rate of above 90% at seven days after the second dose.

Read also: Qatar in ‘advanced discussions’ to get COVID-19 vaccines, ministry says

According to Pfizer and BioNTech, protection from COVID-19 is achieved 28 days after the initial vaccination, which consists of a two-dose schedule.

The results from the third phase of the clinical trials were conducted by an independent Data Monitoring Committee and the analysis confirmed just 94 coronavirus infections among the trial’s 43,538 participants.

Qatar had previously signed an agreement with the companies to supply the country with BNT162 mRNA-based candidate vaccine against SARS-CoV-2.

“Our agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech is one of the options to help address the threat of this global pandemic in Qatar, but in the interim period while no approved vaccine is available, I would like to remind people of the need to follow the preventive measures and stay safe until such a vaccine is available,” said Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal, Chair of the National Health Strategic Group on COVID-19 and Head of Infectious Diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation.


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