Sadiq Khan praises vaccine scientists but warns against 'taking foot off the gas'

Generic vaccine image (c) PA

London's mayor has thanked everyone involved in the development of a Covid vaccine after the Pfizer/BioNTech jab was approved by the UK regulator.

Sadiq Khan said it was a "huge achievement" to have made a vaccine that meets strict safety standards.

"From next week our amazing NHS will get going on the task of vaccinating the most vulnerable and those who work to keep them safe. After many dark months, there is light at the end of the tunnel," said Sadiq Khan.

 "But until the vaccine is fully rolled out to everyone who needs it, we must all continue to play our part to keep ourselves and others safe. I will certainly get vaccinated when the time comes and urge everybody to do the same," he added.

Sadiq Khan also warned against "taking our foot off the gas," and urged all Londoners to continue to follow public health rules.

London mayor, Sadiq Khan

Dr Onkar Sahota, Chair of the London Assembly Health Committee, said approval of a vaccine meant there was now "light at the end of the tunnel."

“It is fantastic to hear news of a new COVID-19 vaccine being approved. Now there is light at the end of the tunnel for millions of Londoners who have been doing the right thing in following the rules, staying at home and staying safe," he said

“Now is the time for an action plan. As a GP, I expect my practice will work hard to vaccinate hundreds of patients a week. I know from the Committee’s research that, for a number of reasons, there are some Londoners who do not want to be vaccinated. There’s a real task ahead for the Government, local authorities and health services to raise awareness and build public trust when it comes to vaccinations," Mr Sahota added.

The UK is the first country in the world to approve a Covid vaccine for use.

So far the UK has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab - enough to vaccinate 20 million people - as two doses are required.

Details of who will be first to get vaccinated - and how - are to be released by the government's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on Wednesday morning.

This includes care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and the clinically extremely vulnerable.

The MHRA will also release the clinical details behind the approved jab, and why it has been authorised.

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