A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said the vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week.
“The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week.”
The approval follows months of rigorous clinical trials and thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA who have concluded the vaccine “has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness”.
The spokesperson said the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) will shortly publish its final advice for the priority groups to receive the vaccine, including care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and the clinically extremely vulnerable.
“The NHS has decades of experience in delivering large scale vaccination programmes and will begin putting their extensive preparations into action to provide care and support to all those eligible for vaccination,” they said.
“To aid the success of the vaccination programme it is vital everyone continues to play their part and abide by the necessary restrictions in their area so we can further suppress the virus and allow the NHS to do its work without being overwhelmed.
“Further details will be set out shortly.”
This makes the UK the first country in the world to approve the vaccine for use.
High-risk groups could be immunised in as little as days.