To fight the coronavirus pandemic crisis, the U.K. took speedy measures to authorize the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and paved their way up on the charts to be known as the first Western nation permitted the vaccines to be rolled out across the country.
Efficiency of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine:
Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is made by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech. After going through many trial analyses, it has been proposed to be 95% effective in defeating the coronavirus. This vaccine has started to raise hopes among people as BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said in an interview with CNN on Wednesday that “This is really of course a very important milestone. It would be the first time that people outside the clinical trials will get an access to the vaccine and we believe that it is ready to start the end of the pandemic.”
The U.K. has ordered 40 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, and according to the statistics, it can vaccinate around 20 million people. The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock said, “Help is on the way.” He also informed the BBC that there would be a delivery of initial 800,000 doses from Pfizer’s facilities in Belgium to the U.K. next week.
“We are no longer resting on the mere hope that we can return to normal next year in the spring, but rather on the sure and certain knowledge that we will succeed, and together reclaim our lives”, said the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson while simultaneously cautioning the citizens to not get “carried away with over optimism or falling into the naive belief that our struggle is over.”
To make Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine a reality, the Pfizer and BioNtech companies showed a commendable joint effort where they have left no compromise to the vaccine’s quality, safety and potency. The U.K. Health Department took the time to evaluate the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and didn’t overlook any possibility of error as they said that the emergency approval was granted after “rigorous, scientific and detailed review of all the available data, starting in October 2020.” The MHRA chief Dr. June Raine claimed that “no corners have been cut”, and the results of the clinical trials were synchronizing. She added that to make progress accelerate, “Separate teams have been working in parallel to deliver this review.”
According to Ughur Sahin, on Nov, 20 Pfizer and BioNTect capitulated a request to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for an exigency use license. The decision is to be made on Dec, 10 by the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee in the U.S. Sahin said, “We are in the process of preparing an additional document and dealing with the logistics so I suspect that first people could get the first vaccination beginning next week.”
Priority List for Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine Candidates:
The U.K.’s government has put together a priority list that defines the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine rollout’s eligible candidates. Care home residents are first on the list, followed by the health workers and then the elderly (80 years old or over). Matt Hancock said, “The goal will be to vaccinate through the NHS right across the U.K. as rapidly as the company can manufacture. It will help save lives. Once we’ve protected the most vulnerable it will help us all get back to normal and back to some of the things that we love.”
Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine contains a piece of genetic material called mRNA that instigates the body to produce mimicry synthetic copies of coronavirus to stimulate an immune response. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine’s only setback is that it must be kept under ultra-cold temperature, about minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 94 Fahrenheit). It has to be stored under cold temperatures, but companies have claimed that it can be stored in the fridge for five days under 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. Also, this vaccine is required to be taken in two doses, apparently 21 days apart.
Rolling Out Process of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine:
Taking this information into consideration, the head of the National Health Service spoke alongside the Prime Minister that the rollout of the vaccine would be phased, allowing it to be available for most imperilled people between January and March or April. In accordance with his plan, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will be available in around 50 hospital hubs and later in local vaccine centers in the next week. When more doses are manufactured, then it will be presented in large vaccination centers. The local pharmacists will also be able to offer it. He also added that the vaccines would be provided seven days a week from 8 in the morning to 8 at night in appointed sites in England.
Pfizer and BioNTech predict that with combined efforts, they can produce up to 50 million Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines by 2020 and up to 1.5 billion by 2021.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has opened the doors for other firms like Moderna to set out to receive approval for the vaccines. Eventually, this all will succeed in encumbering the pressure created by the coronavirus. As Sahin says in his interview that “I personally believe with a number of companies now reaching the approval in the next few months, we might be able to deliver a sufficient number of doses until the end of summer 2021 to reach the 60 to 70% of coverage, which could give us the relief to have a normal winter in 2021.”