On Wednesday 2 December 2020, the UK government officially approved the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for emergency widespread use, with plans to vaccinate the elderly, those in care homes and medical workers as a first priority.
“The government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for use,” a statement issued from the government on 2 December read. “The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week.”
Pfizer’s Chairman and CEO noted that the authorisation marked a ‘historic moment’ in the fight against Covid-19.
There’s still a ‘hard winter’ ahead
As Prime Minister Boris Johnson noted, it would be the protection that vaccines offered that allowed people to ‘reclaim their lives’ and to ‘get the economy moving again’.
Still, Johnson noted that the country must first ‘navigate a hard winter’ before restrictions would be properly relaxed, as distribution would take some time.
International travel on the horizon
Further afield, other countries are also in the final stages of vaccine vetting processes. Both the US and the European Union are reportedly considering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, as well as the Moderna one.
In addition to the Covid passports that are also being planned by global authorities and touted by airlines, the imminent implementation of Covid vaccinations will mark a important milestone in facilitating the reopening of international borders. And international travel will follow soon after.