Coronavirus (COVID-19)

For health information and advice, read our pages on coronavirus. Learn about the government response to coronavirus on GOV.UK.

First COVID-19 vaccine approved

 

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has announced that the UK has become the first country in the world to approve a COVID-19 vaccine for use.

 

Matt Hancock MP has said that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been given the go-ahead by the health regulator MHRA and will become available from next week.

 

This is the vaccine which studies have shown to be 95% effective, works in all age groups and the government has secured 40 million doses (enough for 20 million people).   Ten million doses are expected in the UK by the end of the year.

 

Sky News is reporting that it is likely to be frontline NHS staff who will be the first to receive this vaccine.  This is because it needs to be stored at -70 degrees.  They also report that the Royal Liverpool University Hospital will be one of seven hospital vaccination hubs in the North West.

We're expecting to hear more through the day about who will be vaccinated, how and when.