UK becomes first country in world to approve Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine: Who gets it first?
UK today became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use and said that it will be rolled out from early next week.
UK today, became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use and said that it will be rolled out from early next week. Britain had ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine - enough for just under a third of the population as two shots of the jab are needed per person to gain immunity.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has set out how the vaccine will be rolled out around the country:
- Britain will start vaccinating ordinary people early next week after it gets 800,000 doses from Pfizer`s manufacturing centre in Belgium. The speed of the rollout depends on how fast Pfizer can manufacture and deliver the vaccine, Britain said.
- The bulk of the rollout will happen in the new year.
- Hancock said the vaccine will first go to the elderly, those in care homes and their carers, and to those who are clinically vulnerable.
- Britain has established three routes to get the vaccine out to the country, a programme it has described as "challenging" because it needs to be shipped and stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius (-94F) or below.
- 50 hospitals are set up across England and waiting to accept the vaccine, large vaccination centres are being set up now, and in time local health centres known as general practitioners (GPs) and pharmacists will provide the jab in the community if they have those capabilities.
- The community element is likely to take on a larger role if a rival vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca is approved, because it does not need such cold storage and is easier to deliver.
Here are some reactions to the news:
JAMES ATHEY, INVESTMENT DIRECTOR AT ABERDEEN STANDARD INVESTMENTS:
"Incoming news surrounding the development and distribution of COVID vaccinations continues to be unequivocally positive, and subsequently, is being cheered and welcomed by financial markets that are desperate for good news.
This morning`s announcement that vaccination in the UK could begin as early as next week saw further gains for sterling following yesterday’s strong performance following the Times Radio report that Brexit negotiations have entered the final and crucial stage. However, these gains have been stopped in their tracks by a subsequent headline suggesting that EU negotiator Michel Barnier has told EU ambassadors that there may not be a Brexit deal after all."
SYLVAIN GOYON, HEAD OF EQUITY STRATEGY AT ODDO BHF IN PARIS:
"Stock market reactions following the Pfizer and Moderna announcements already reflect bets of a rapid normalization. To this extent the UK registration is somewhat already priced in"
MIKE BELL, GLOBAL MARKET STRATEGIST AT J.P. MORGAN ASSET MANAGEMENT:
"Approval of a highly effective vaccine may mark the beginning of the end to the Covid-19 economic turmoil and the beginning of a new bull market for equities.
The scientists have come to the rescue and delivered what investors were hoping for Christmas this year. As this year’s savings are spent next year, the global economy should boom driving corporate profits and equities higher in 2021."
DANNY ALTMANN, PROFESSOR OF IMMUNOLOGY AT IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON:
"Exciting news keeps coming, but this really is momentous. Nobody knew how the battle to find effective vaccines would pan out. Now, less than 11 months from the first characterisation of the virus sequence, we have the first emergency approval for use of a really effective vaccine. Truly heroic.
I don`t think we should get too hung up on ‘the race’ and this as the 1st approval. Over the next several weeks we’ll likely see a number of licenses granted - and we do need them all to get speedily out of this mess"
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