The United Kingdom approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine early Wednesday as pressure mounts on the U.S. to do the same.
“This authorization is a goal we have been working toward since we first declared that science will win, and we applaud the MHRA for their ability to conduct a careful assessment and take timely action to help protect the people of the UK,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, said in a statement.
Inoculations in the UK are anticipated to start next week. The UK expects 800,000 doses of the vaccine to be available for the first wave of inoculations, BBC reported.
In addition, the UK initially struck a deal with Pfizer to provide 40 million vaccine doses by early spring. With Pfizer’s double injection vaccination process, that’s enough to vaccinate 20 million people.
In a tweet early Wednesday Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the news “fantastic.”
“It’s the protection of vaccines that