The U.K. has formally approved Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, becoming the first Western country to OK its use for the general public.
The British regulatory agency, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority, or MHRA, announced the approval of the vaccine from Pfizer and the German company BioNTech for emergency use early Wednesday. The vaccine promises up to 95% protection against COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
The U.K.’s Secretary of State for Health & Social Care Matt Hancock tweeted Wednesday morning that the National Health Service stands ready to start vaccinating people in high priority groups as early as next week.
U.S. regulators have still not approved the vaccine’s use in America.
Help is on its way.
The MHRA has formally authorised the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for Covid-19.
The NHS stands ready to start vaccinating early next week.
The UK is the first country in the world to have a clinically approved vaccine for supply.
— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) December 2, 2020
The U.K. has reportedly already purchased 40 million doses, according to BBC.