Report: Pfizer vaccine could receive UK approval this week

British regulators about to start appraisal of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, decision could be made in less than a week.

Ben Ariel ,

COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccine

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine could get the go-ahead in the UK even before the US authorizes it, with hopes of a green light in as little as a week, The Telegraph newspaper reported on Sunday.

According to the report, British regulators are about to start their formal appraisal of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and German firm BioNTech.

Government sources said that in “a best case scenario” a decision could be made in less than a week, with the NHS told to prepare to be ready to start administering jabs by December 1.

The watchdog has already been formally asked to assess the vaccines, and will receive the full set of safety and efficacy data on Monday or Tuesday.

The NHS has drawn up plans to start administering vaccines from December 1. Draft plans suggest every adult in England could be vaccinated against COVID-19 by April, according to The Telegraph.

Under the timetable, roll-out for those aged 18 to 50 could even start in late January, after older people and care workers are vaccinated.

Health officials said it was too early to commit to the timetable in the plans.

On Friday, Pfizer asked the FDA to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine in the US.

The request came days after Pfizer and BioNTech announced that its vaccine appears 95% effective at preventing mild to severe COVID-19 disease in a large, ongoing study.

Last week, preliminary results showed the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the coronavirus to be 90% effective.

The initial study showed that among the 43,538 total participants, seven days after the second dose was administered - and 28 days after the first dose - the vaccinated group was found to have 90% fewer symptomatic cases of the coronavirus than the control group.

Days later, a rival company, Moderna, announced that its coronavirus vaccine had been rated as being 94.5% effective.