It has been one year since the UK became the first country to approve the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which allowed the UK to begin its vaccination programme earlier than other countries, with the first vaccination administered on 8 December. More than 115 million doses have been administered across the UK in almost a year.
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‘Our COVID-19 vaccination programme has been absolutely remarkable. It is the largest in British history and the NHS has overcome every obstacle to get life-saving jabs in arms quickly,’ said Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup.
The first real-world study on the effectiveness of booster vaccines against the dominant Delta variant by the UK Health Security Agency shows top-up jabs boost protection back up to over 90% against symptomatic COVID-19 in adults aged over 50 two weeks after being vaccinated. It is not yet known whether existing vaccines are less effective against the Omicron variant, but it is unlikely they no effectiveness against serious disease.
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‘Booster jabs will protect the progress we have already made against the virus and help ensure we can enjoy Christmas safely with our loved ones,’ added Ms Throup.
‘The offer of a first and second dose will always be available and I encourage everybody to come forward to protect yourself and those around you.’