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BioNTech CEO who created Covid-19 vaccine 'extremely relieved' at UK approval

Professor Ugur Sahin, the man behind the Covid-19 vaccine, appeared on GMB today to discuss how he feels now the UK has approved the vaccine.

Mr Sahin is the CEO of BioNTech who, along with his wife Dr Ozlem Tureci, created the vaccine in partnership with pharamceutical company Pfizer.

The UK has become the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/ BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, paving the way for mass vaccination.

Britain's medicines regulator, the MHRA, says the jab, which offers up to 95% protection across all age groups, is safe to be rolled out.

The first doses are already on their way to the UK, with 800,000 due in the coming days, and the NHS are said to be ready to start vaccinating next week. 

"In the last 11 months more than 2,000 people in our company and Pfizer worked day and night to ensure that we could reach this point," Mr Sahin said. "It's a fantastic relieving feeling."

So is the vaccine safe?

Mr Sahin explained that although it had been developed at speed no corner have been cut on safety.

"It was indeed historically unprecedented short development in the world," he said. "But this was accomplished not by cutting corners but by diligent work, using new technology, international collaboration, new models of dealing with scientific challenges and we did everything that is required to ensure a vaccine is safe and effective."

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