The speed at which vaccines have been developed against coronavirus is staggering, and yet, equally as staggering, is the speed at which one has jumped through regulatory hoops. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MRHA), Britain’s respected drug authority, has approved the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and it is set to be deployed as soon as next week. As the rapid rollout begins, all eyes will be on the process of immunity.
Professor Van-Tam told, England’s deputy chief medical officer, told BBC News: “If we can get through phase one [of the priority list] and it is a highly effective vaccine and there is very, very high up take, then we could in theory take out 99 percent of hospitalisations and deaths related to COVID-19.
“That is why the phase one list is what it is, that is the primary ambition.”
The UK has so far ordered 40 million doses – enough to vaccinate 20 million people.
It has been taken to a central hub at an undisclosed location, and will now be distributed to hospital vaccination centres around the UK.
What we know so far about the vaccine
Phase three trials reported a 95 percent effectiveness against COVID-19 symptoms.
The phase 3 trials of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine involved 42,000 people, about half of whom got the experimental vaccine and the rest a placebo.
It deploys a new approach to immunisation. The active ingredient is messenger RNA, which carries instructions for making the virus’s spike protein and is used to gain entry to cells.
In response to these proteins, the body’s immune pathways are activated – a response that offers protection should we encounter the virus itself.
Coronavirus symptoms – what to look for
According to the NHS, The main symptoms of coronavirus are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
“Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms,” explains the health body.
If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:
- Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible
- You and anyone you live with should stay at home and not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.
Anyone in your support bubble should also stay at home if you have been in close contact with them since your symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started.