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UK set to approve Covid-19 vaccine next week

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Britain is set to approve the Covid-19 vaccine developed by BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc next week and deliveries would begin within hours of the authorisation, the Financial Times reported on Saturday.

The first immunisations using the BioNTech and Pfizer vaccine could take place from December 7, the FT said, citing unnamed sources.

Earlier in the day, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson named Nadhim Zahawi, currently a junior business minister, as the minister responsible for the deployment of Covid-19 vaccines.

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Britain said on November 20 it had formally asked its medical regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), to assess the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for its suitability, the first step in making it available outside the United States.

Britain has ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine, which has been found to be 95 per cent effective in preventing the spread of a virus that has killed more than 1.4 million people worldwide and crippled the global economy.

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