German vaccine ‘could be given to Britons before Christmas as another 23,000 test positive
London, Oct. 30, 2020 (AltAfrica)-A German coronavirus vaccine may be administered on Britons before Christmas, beating Oxford University’s AstraZeneca jab, according to reports.
This is coming as a further 23,065 people tested positive for COVID-19 in the UK and another 280 have died, according to the latest government data.
UK government officials believe a verdict on whether the Pfizer-backed vaccine, being developed by German firm Biontech, works is expected in the coming weeks, The Times reported.
The government has bought up 30 million doses of the drug, which Pfizer’s chief executive Albert Bourla told the newspaper is in its ‘last mile’ of development.
UK is planning to initially vaccinate only 30 million people, less than half the population, according to Sky News. It means some restrictions would still be needed as the virus would continue to spread.
It is said the company plans to file for emergency authorisation of the vaccine from regulators in late November after it has enough safety data.
The vaccine is one of six currently in trials that the government has secured early access to, including the Oxford University/AstraZeneca jab.
Pfizer said it hopes to have produced 100 million doses globally by the end of the year if it passes trials, with a further billion doses made in 2021.
It comes amid reports the UK is only buying enough vaccines to protect the most vulnerable to Covid-19, dealing a blow to hopes of herd immunity in the near future.
The committee said young and people healthy should only be given the jab once the risks and benefits have been further assessed.
In deals that the UK government has done with manufacturers since the advice was issued, either 30 million or 60 million doses have been bought, depending on whether the vaccine requires one or two shots.
Before the committee’s recommendations, the government bought 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine, and this is the only one available in greater numbers.