American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech are racing against time to get their vaccine for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) approved now that final trial results have shown that their candidate has an efficacy rate of 95 per cent. Countries all over the globe are rolling out detailed roadmaps for immunisation and Pfizer has secured its rightful place in it.
Here are the latest updates on the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine
1. Britain has formally asked its medical regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), to assess the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for its suitability, the very first step in making the shot available outside of the United States. Britain has ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine, which has been found to be 95% effective in preventing the spread of a virus that has killed more than 1.3 million worldwide. Britain expects to have 10 million doses of the vaccine, enough to protect 5 million people, by the end of the year if regulators approve it.
2. Spain has announced its plan to vaccinate a majority of the population by mid-2021. Pfizer and BioNTech have taken the lead alongside US firm Moderna in the race for immunisation in Europe. The Spanish government has been working on a plan for vaccination since September.
3. Both the pharmaceutical companies sought approval on Friday to roll out their Covid-19 vaccine early, a first step towards relief as surging infections prompt a return to shutdowns that traumatised nations and the global economy earlier this year. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said its vaccines committee would meet on December 10 to discuss the request for emergency use authorisation
4. Pfizer is eyeing a rapid roll out of coronavirus vaccine in Latin America once it gets emergency authorization from the US. The firm was aiming to supply around 1.3 billion doses by the end of next year, said Alejandro Cané, the North America chief of scientific and medical affairs for Pfizer’s vaccines division, adding that the under trial vaccine candidate had shown high efficacy across different ethnicities. Pfizer/BioNTech said doses of the vaccine would be ready for distribution “within hours” after US authorisation, which could mean shipments beginning in the second half of December. They would initially be provided by a US factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and a Belgian plant in Puurs.
5. The Netherlands is all set to rollout coronavirus vaccines to some 3.5 million people in the first quarter of next year, the health minister announced on Friday. It has concluded deals for vaccines with five manufacturers: AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Janssen, CureVac and Sanofi.
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