LONDON — British regulators insisted that “no corners have been cut” during the assessment of the the COVID-19 vaccine developed by American drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech, which was cleared for emergency use on Wednesday.
In a briefing after the U.K.'s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency became the first regulator worldwide to approve the vaccine, its chair, Dr. June Raine, said the public can be “absolutely confident” that its standards are equivalent to those anywhere around the world.
Regulators also revealed the order by which the vaccine will be rolled out across the country over the coming weeks and months, beginning next week. The U.K. has ordered around 40 million doses of the vaccine, which can potentially immunize 20 million people as two doses are required.
Residents in nursing homes and their carers will be offered the vaccine first followed by those aged 80 and over and frontline health and social care workers. From there, the priority plan largely follows age groups.
According to Munir Pirmohamed, chair of a medicines panel, people will be immune seven days after the second dose.