Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine 'could be ready by end of the month or December 1'

All being well, the UK could see the first doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine by the end of the month or December 1. Credit: PA

The final results of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine trial are hugely significant and if it is approved by regulators in the coming days, it could be ready to be injected by the end of the month or December 1.

Not only has it shown, like Moderna's jab, to be 95% effective but it works very well in the over-65s too.

That is crucial because we know the immune system stops working so effectively when we get old so all eyes were on how effective it was in the elderly.

Health Editor Emily Morgan explains what needs to happen before we're given the vaccine

This marks a very important moment in the pandemic.

Pfizer and BioNTech will now apply for regulatory approval in order to be able to supply it worldwide.

I understand that the firm hasn't yet put in an application to our regulatory body, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MRHA) but that, I'm told, will happen in the next day or so.

Once it's applied, the MRHA will review all of the trial results and all the data collected through the trial for safety, quality and efficacy to ensure it is safe for use.

Despite the pressure to do this quickly they have made it very clear no corners will be cut and everything will be done to the upmost standards.

That said, I'm told that process COULD happen within a week, or perhaps two. 

If the regulator is happy, it will recommend the vaccine to Health Secretary Matt Hancock who will then approve it for use and roll out will begin. 

It's my understanding though that none of the vaccine is in the UK yet.

It's being manufactured in Belgium and officials are working on delivery options.

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Pfizer is being cautious about when we'll see the first vaccinations, it insists the end of the year is realistic.

But I understand the government is optimistic is can be approved and rolled out sooner than that which means there's an outside chance we could see the first person vaccinated by the end of the month or December 1.