EVERYTHING you need to know about Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine

UK regulators today approved Pfizer / BioNTech's Covid vaccine, paving the way for mass vaccination within days.

Officials said the bump will be made available "starting next week" as Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the end of the pandemic was now "in sight".

This is where MailOnline answers all questions about the sting, including who gets it first, how much it costs and where people get vaccinated.

How many cans of Pfizer has the UK bought?

The UK has received 40 million doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, with 10 million due in the UK by the end of the year. Matt Hancock announced that 800,000 cans will be available next week.

Patients need two doses, which means number 10 has only secured enough doses for about a third of the UK.

However, it is likely that other vaccines, including one from Oxford University, from which Britain bought 100 million doses, will be approved in the coming weeks and months.

How long does it protect you?

Regulators announced today that there was evidence of "partial immunity" just seven days after the first dose, offering a glimmer of hope that the roll-out could have an impact starting next week before Christmas.

However, they insisted that the best immunity comes seven days after the second dose given three weeks after the first.

It remains a mystery how long immunity to Covid lasts. Top scientists warn that people like the flu may need to be vaccinated against the disease every winter.

How is a vaccine introduced?

Behind the scenes, work has been going on to ensure that NHS staff will be ready to start delivering vaccines to those most at risk by early December.

Nightingale hospitals and sports stadiums have been prepared as sites for mass vaccination clinics, while general practitioners and pharmacists will also be involved in the mammoth army-backed operation to deliver the sting.

Mr Hancock also told Sky News that "50 hospitals across the country are already set up and waiting to receive the vaccine once it's approved".

The government has also put in place new regulations that will allow more health care workers – and NHS volunteers – to give flu and potential Covid-19 vaccines. You will be monitored by a healthcare professional.

NHS England yesterday evening released its full contract specification for family doctor offices that deliver Covid puffs vaccine without wasting.

A letter sent to all practices indicates that some staff may need to vaccinate patients on Christmas Day. It is expected that vaccination sites can deliver at least 1,000 shocks per week. The vaccination contract begins next Tuesday and GPs will receive £ 25.16 for every two puffs they give.

Volunteers with no medical training can use the GoodSAM app to get involved in injections with St. John Ambulance. The role description states: “Voluntary vaccines are trained to give a patient a vaccination. You are also ready to act if a patient experiences a side effect. "

Attempts are also made to volunteer for vaccination care. They help patients get to the right place for their thrust and are available to provide first aid if someone is uncomfortable.

Voluntary patient advocates, the third type of helper, will "focus on the patient's welfare through their experience"


  1. Blackpool Teaching Hospitals
  2. University Hospitals in Brighton and Sussex
  3. Cambridge University Hospitals
  4. Chesterfield Royal Hospital
  5. Countess of Chester Hospital
  6. Croydon University Hospital
  7. Hospitals in Dartford and Gravesham
  8. Hospitals in Dorset County
  9. Hospitals in East and North Hertfordshire
  10. East Kent Hospitals
  11. Hospitals in East Suffolk and North Essex
  12. Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust
  13. Gloucestershire Hospitals
  14. Great Western Hospitals
  15. Guys & St Thomas NHS Trust
  16. James Paget University Hospitals
  17. Kings College Hospital
  18. Princess Royal University Hospital, Kings
  19. Teaching Hospital in Lancashire
  20. Leeds Teaching Hospital
  21. Leicester Partnership NHS Trust
  22. Liverpool University Hospitals
  23. Medway NHS Foundation Trust
  24. Hospitals in Mid and South Essex
  25. Milton Keynes University Hospital
  26. Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
  27. Northampton General Hospital
  28. North Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
  29. North West Anglia Foundation Trust
  30. Nottingham University Hospitals
  31. Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
  32. Portsmouth Hospital University
  33. Royal Cornwall Hospitals
  34. Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
  35. Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust
  36. Teaching hospitals in Sheffield
  37. Sherwood Forest Hospitals
  38. Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust
  39. Stockport NHS Foundation Trust
  40. St. George & # 39; s University Hospitals
  41. The Newcastle Upon Type Hospitals
  42. University hospitals
  43. Birmingham University Hospitals
  44. Coventry and Warwickshire University Hospitals
  45. Derby Burton University Hospitals
  46. North Midlands University Hospitals
  47. Plymouth University Hospitals
  48. United Lincolnshire Hospitals
  49. Walsall Healthcare
  50. West Hertfordshire Hospitals
  51. Wirral University Teaching Hospital
  52. Acute Hospitals in Worcestershire
  53. Yeovil District Hospital

Who is at the top of the list to get a coronavirus vaccine?

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) has been looking into data on who has the worst effects of the coronavirus and who is at the highest risk of death.

According to the JCVI guidelines, the order of priority should be as follows.

1. Residents of a nursing home for older adults and their carers

2. Anyone aged 80 or over who are on the front lines in health and social care

3. Everyone aged 75 and over

4th All persons over the age of 70 and persons at extreme clinical risk, with the exception of pregnant women and persons under 18 years of age

5. Everyone aged 65 and over

6th Adults aged 18 to 65 in a risk group such as pathologically obese

7th Everyone aged 60 and over

8th. Everyone aged 55 and over

9. Everyone aged 50 and over

What kind of vaccine is it?

The sting is known as a messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine.

Traditional vaccines are made using weakened forms of the virus, but mRNAs only use the virus' genetic code.

An mRNA vaccine is injected into the body, where it enters the cells and prompts them to produce antigens. These antigens are recognized by the immune system and prepare it to fight the coronavirus.

What are the benefits of this type of vaccine?

No actual virus is needed to make an mRNA vaccine. This means that the speed at which it can be made is accelerated dramatically. As a result, mRNA vaccines have been touted as a potentially quick fix to new infectious disease outbreaks.

In theory, they can also be modified relatively quickly if, for example, a virus develops mutations and begins to change. mRNA vaccines are also cheaper to make than traditional vaccines, although both will play important roles in fighting Covid-19.

Where is the vaccine made?

Pfizer's butt is manufactured at the company's facility in Belgium and at separate locations in the United States.

BioNTech – the other pharmaceutical company involved in the vaccine – has two production facilities in Germany, which are expected to produce cans from the New Year.

Are there any disadvantages?

A disadvantage of mRNA vaccines is that they have to be stored in extremely cold temperatures and cannot be easily transported.

Chris Hopson, Managing Director of NHS Providers, said, "The logistics for managing the Pfizer / BioNTech push are impressive."

Mr Hancock said while the rollout was not "easy" he was confident that the NHS could deliver the vaccine despite the logistics involved.

How is it then stored and transported?

Pfizer's Covid vaccine is shipped to the UK in special suitcase-like boxes, in which the cans of dry ice are kept at minus 70 ° C for up to 10 days – about four times colder than a household freezer.

Each of the containers, known as the "dispatcher", holds around 1,000 cans and is equipped with heat sensors so that the pharmaceutical company can track the location and temperature of the frozen vaccine bottles.

Vaccines are sent by air and road, but not by boat due to time constraints. From there they are shipped to 1,500 different locations – including vaccination centers, hospitals and general practitioners' offices, where they can be stored in regular refrigerators between 2 ° C and 8 ° C for up to five days.

According to Pfizer, shipping cartons can be filled with dry ice every five days, which means that cans can theoretically be stored for up to 30 days.

Are you sure?

All vaccines are rigorously tested and monitored by experienced regulators.

Some believe that mRNA vaccines are safer for the patient as they do not rely on any element of the virus to be injected into the body. mRNA vaccines were tested in the laboratory and on animals before moving to human studies.

The human mRNA vaccine trials, involving tens of thousands of people around the world, have been going on since early 2020 to show that they are safe and effective.

Pfizer will continue to collect data on safety and long-term outcomes from participants for two years.

Can you get the Covid vaccine privately?

The Queen and the rest of the royal family will not be able to queue for a Covid-19 vaccine, and even Boris Johnson will have to wait for his turn. This was announced last month.

According to the government, no one will receive "special treatment" once the country launches its mass vaccination campaign.

Even wealthy companies won't be able to skip the line, despite fears that wealthy companies would buy vaccines outright to get their employees back to work and make up for the money bleeding during the lockdown.

Could employers force staff to get vaccinated?

According to lawyers, it is "highly unlikely" that private employers could force employees to get a Covid bump when one is finally available.

Although most of the UK must be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity and stop the spread of the disease, a sting cannot be given without people's consent.

Attorneys for global law firm Morgan Lewis said it was unlikely that UK companies could start enforcing vaccinations.

They said, “A vaccine can only be lawfully given if the person agrees to such treatment. It is highly questionable whether an employee will consent to treatment under any coercion of his employer. "

Will I get a vaccination certificate if I get the sting?

Immunity passes have been touted as the key to getting parts of society back to normal life and enabling millions to evade restrictions. This is because they would indicate that someone is protected against the virus and can fight it off without getting seriously sick or dying.

Bars, cinemas and football stadiums could turn away Britons who have not been vaccinated against coronavirus, suggested British vaccination minister Nadhim Zahawi.

But ministers have since denied that Britons need "immunity certificates" to go to the pub. Michael Gove was asked during a round of interviews yesterday if people need to prove that they have been given coronavirus vaccines to enter bars and restaurants. He replied flatly: "No."

When asked if they might be needed in theaters or sports centers, he said, "No, I don't think so, no."

Mr Hancock said today that a vaccination record is "not part of our plan". He told Sky News, "Although we know this vaccine will protect you from getting sick with Covid, we don't yet know how much it will prevent you from transmitting Covid until we roll it out."

It doesn't take long to make vaccines?

In the past, it took years, sometimes decades, to make a vaccine.

Traditionally, vaccine development involves various processes, including the design and development phases, followed by clinical trials that need self-approval before they even begin.

In the studies for a Covid-19 vaccine, however, it looks a little different. A process that normally takes years has been cut down to months.

While the early design and development phases look similar, the clinical trial phases overlap rather than occur sequentially.

And pharmaceutical companies started manufacturing before final approval was given – and ran the risk that they might be forced to scrap their work.

The new way of working allows regulators around the world to start reviewing scientific data earlier than before.

Are there no other vaccines?

Yes, recent data from the Oxford / AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccine studies suggest that their candidates are also highly effective.

Oxford data shows the vaccine is 62 percent effective when given a full dose followed by another full dose.

However, when people were given half a dose followed by a full dose at least a month later, the data showed that efficacy rose to 90 percent. However, the groundbreaking results of trials with the Oxford University vaccine were based on "shaky science," experts warned.

The combined analysis of both dosage regimens showed an average effectiveness of 70.4 percent.

The final results of the Moderna vaccine trials suggest it has 94.1 percent effectiveness and 100 percent effectiveness against severe Covid-19.

Nobody vaccinated with the vaccine known as mRNA-1273 developed a severe coronavirus.

A graphic of EU, US, Canada, UK, Japan, and Australia vaccine orders

Which push is best?

The early competitors all have high rates of effectiveness, but researchers say it's difficult to make direct comparisons because it's not yet known exactly what each of the studies is measuring.

Analysis shows that the Pfizer vaccine can prevent 95 percent of people from getting Covid-19, 94 percent of whom are in older age groups.

A technician inspects vials of BNT162b2 vaccine candidate for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a Pfizer manufacturing facility in the St. Louis, Missouri facility

A technician inspects vials of BNT162b2 vaccine candidate for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a Pfizer manufacturing facility in the St. Louis, Missouri facility

The vaccine has been tested on 43,500 people in six countries and no safety concerns were raised. The approval means the UK can begin rolling out the vaccine for those most in need, including frontline NHS staff.

How many cans has Britain secured?

The UK has secured access to 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca / Oxford University vaccine, which is almost enough for most of the population.

A deal for seven million cans of the batch offered by Moderna in the US was also belatedly closed.

The offerings for 357 million doses of seven different vaccines cover four different classes: adenoviral vaccines, mRNA vaccines, inactivated whole virus vaccines and protein adjuvant vaccines.


Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech have both released interim clinical trial results for their end-stage vaccines, both of which indicate that they are extremely effective.

Oxford University has published the results of its second phase, showing that the sting induces an immune response and is safe to use. It's not yet clear how well it protects against coronavirus in the real world.

How to Compare:


mRNA vaccine – Genetic material from the coronavirus is injected to stimulate the immune system to make "spike" proteins and learn how to attack them.

mRNA vaccine – both Moderna, Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines work the same way.

Recombinant Viral Vector Vaccine – A harmless cold virus taken from chimpanzees has been engineered to produce the "spike" proteins and look like the coronavirus.

94.5% effective (90 positive in the placebo group, 5 positive in the vaccine group).

95% effective (160 positive in the placebo group, 8 positive in the vaccine group).

62% – 90% effective, depending on the dosage.

Moderna confirmed that countries placing smaller orders, such as the UK's five million cans, will pay between £ 24 and £ 28 per dose. The US has secured 100 million doses for $ 1.525 billion (£ 1.16 billion), suggesting it will cost $ 15.25 (11.57 pounds) per dose.

The US pays $ 1.95 billion (£ 1.48 billion) for the first 100 million doses, which is the equivalent of $ 19.50 (£ 14.80) per dose.

Estimated to cost £ 2.23 per dose. The UK's full 100 million dose supply could add up to just £ 223 million.

The UK has ordered five million cans that will be available from March 2021. Moderna will produce 20 million cans this year, which is expected to remain in the US.

The UK has already ordered 40 million cans, 10 million of which could be available in 2020. The first vaccinations are expected in December.

The UK has already ordered 100 million cans and is expected to come first to get the cans once approved.

What side effects does it cause?

Moderna said the vaccine was "generally safe and well tolerated". Most of the side effects were mild or moderate, but included pain, fatigue and headache, which "generally" were short-lived.

Pfizer and BioNTech did not provide a breakdown of the side effects, but said the Data Monitoring Committee "did not report any serious safety concerns."

Oxford said there were no serious safety concerns. Mild side effects were relatively common in small studies. Many participants reported that their arm hurt after the shock and that they later suffered from headache, fatigue, or muscle pain. Further data is collected.

How much is it?

Pfizer / BioNTech makes its vaccine available for non-profit purposes.

According to reports, the Moderna vaccine could cost around $ 38 (£ 28) per dose, and the Pfizer candidate could cost around $ 20 (£ 15).

The researchers suggest that the Oxford vaccine could be relatively cheap to make, with some reports suggesting it could be around £ 3 per dose.

AstraZeneca said it will not sell it for a profit so it can be available to all countries.

However, the details of the dealings conducted by the UK government were not made public.

How did that come about so quickly?

Traditionally, vaccines can take years to research and develop.

The schedule for the development and approval of a Covid vaccine was shortened due to the coronavirus crisis.

What is the common procedure for developing a vaccine?

Vaccine development traditionally takes several years and involves various processes, including the design and development phases, followed by clinical trials, which in and of themselves need to be approved before they even begin.

The experiments take place in three successive phases – also known as phases. Research will show whether a vaccine creates antibodies but also protects people from disease. They also identify any security issues.

After the studies are complete, the information gathered by the researchers is sent to the regulators for review. This is thoroughly analyzed by clinicians and scientists before it is approved for wide use. After regulatory approval, people can get the vaccine.

Is that different because of the pandemic?

In the studies for a Covid vaccine, the procedure looks a little different.

While the early design and development phases look similar, the clinical trial phases have overlapped – rather than one after the other.

But doesn't that mean security is at risk?

Although some phases of the clinical trial process were parallel rather than sequential, the safety checks were still the same as for any new drug.

The Regulatory Authority for Medicines and Health Products (MHRA) has adopted the term "safety is our catchphrase".

The regulatory authorities have announced that they will "strictly assess" the data and evidence submitted regarding the safety, quality and effectiveness of the vaccine.

In most clinical trials, safety issues are usually identified in the first two to three months – a period that has already passed for most vaccine front-runners.

How do regulators act so quickly?

The regulators have carried out ongoing reviews, which means they have been given access to the data as the scientists work, rather than going through tons of information at the end of the studies.

A rolling review of vaccine data began a few months ago.

This means regulators can start reviewing scientific data earlier than before, which in turn means the approval process can be accelerated. Regulators sometimes have thousands of pages of information to go through with a fine tooth comb – which understandably takes time.

As soon as all the data available on the vaccine are available, the MHRA experts will carefully and scientifically review the safety, quality and effectiveness data – how they protect people from Covid-19 and what level of protection they offer.

Once this is done, advice will be sought from the government's independent advisory body, the Commission for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHM).

What does "approved for use" mean?

In order for a medicine to be used in the UK, it must be licensed. This means that all rigorous safety and efficacy tests have been passed and the regulatory authorities are confident of the results of the clinical trials.

By reviewing the data as it becomes available, the MHRA can come to an earlier opinion on whether or not the medicine or vaccine should be approved without compromising the thoroughness of its review.

What data would the regulatory authority have looked at?

The information provided to the MHRA includes what the vaccine contains, how it works in the body, how well it works, what side effects it has and who it is for.

This data must include the results of all animal and human clinical studies, manufacturing and quality controls, batch production consistency, and review of the final product specification.

The factories that manufacture the vaccines are also inspected before a license can be granted to ensure that the product supplied is of the same consistently high standard.

Husband and wife Ugur Sahin and Oezlem Tuereci are behind the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine that could change the world

Husband and wife Ugur Sahin and Oezlem Tuereci are behind the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine that could change the world

Regulators review batches of data before approving vaccines (inventory).

Regulators review batches of data before approving vaccines (inventory).

What is the difference between the MHRA and the CHM?

The MHRA is the UK regulator for drugs and medical devices that ensures their safety, quality and effectiveness.

The CHM advises ministers on pharmaceuticals. It consists of an independent group of advisors who are responsible for providing advice on the need for and content of risk management plans for new drugs.

It also advises officials on the impact of new safety issues on the balance between the risks and benefits of approved drugs.

The CHM also offers advice on “Applications for national and European marketing authorization”.

Haven't pharmaceutical companies already started making vaccines?

Yes. As a rule, production and sales on a large scale only begin after regulatory approval. In the case of Covid-19 vaccines, however, pharmaceutical companies started manufacturing before final approval was granted – and ran the risk that they could be forced to cancel their jobs.


Approval of the Pfizer / BioNTech coronavirus vaccine is the first option that experts are hoping for. Since the pandemic began, scientists around the world have tried to develop a sting that would prevent Covid-19.

There have already been a number of positive preliminary test results for other candidates, including from AstraZeneca and Oxford University, as well as the US company Moderna.

What do we know about the development of other vaccine candidates?

The Oxford vaccine is up to 60 percent effective when given in two full doses, the study shows

The Oxford vaccine is up to 60 percent effective when given in two full doses, the study shows

Oxford / AstraZeneca (100 million cans)

Many people are eagerly awaiting regulatory approval for the vaccine, which is being developed by Oxford University and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca.

The UK has placed orders for 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine – enough to vaccinate most of the population – with a rollout expected in the coming weeks if the sting is approved by the MHRA.

Oxford data shows the vaccine is 62 percent effective when given a full dose followed by another full dose. However, when half a dose was given followed by a full dose at least a month later, its effectiveness increased to 90 percent.

The combined analysis of both dosage regimens showed an average effectiveness of 70.4 percent.

Moderna (7 million cans)

The final results of the Moderna vaccine trials suggest it has 94.1 percent effectiveness and 100 percent effectiveness against severe Covid-19.

Nobody vaccinated with the vaccine known as mRNA-1273 developed a severe coronavirus.

According to Moderna, the test results indicate that the shock is generally well tolerated without serious safety concerns.

The US company is in the process of filing for regulatory approval for its vaccine with regulatory agencies around the world. If it is approved for use in the UK, it could be launched this spring.

This vaccine is still in clinical trials and has yet to be approved

This vaccine is still in clinical trials and has yet to be approved

Novavax (60 million doses)

Great Britain is supporting and providing infrastructure for Novavax to conduct a phase 3 clinical trial. It is planned to manufacture the vaccine in the UK with Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies.

Clinical data for early stages of the study suggest that the vaccine elicits an immune response that is greater than that in patients who have recovered from the disease.

The company's ongoing Phase 3 clinical trial in the UK to evaluate the efficacy, safety and immunogenicity of NVX-CoV2373 is expected to be fully completed by the end of November.

Depending on the overall attack rate of Covid-19, interim data is expected in the British study as early as the first quarter of next year, which is also event-driven.

Janssen (30 million cans)

Phase 3 trials of the Janssen vaccine began in mid-November with the aim of enrolling 6,000 people in the UK and a total of 30,000 worldwide.

The sting was already done in phases one and two, and an interim analysis of the single-dose study suggests that the Covid-19 vaccine candidate elicits a robust immune response and is generally well tolerated.

The UK researchers say the timing of the results for their study will depend on global enrollment for the study and the incidence of Covid-19.

They add that recent vaccine trials suggest that it generally takes six to nine months to get a result. However, studies starting now could take longer.

Imperial College London (no cans)

Imperial College London's vaccine is in its first phase of clinical trials, where doses are given to a small group of people to see if it's safe and to learn more about the immune response it elicits.

Professor Robin Shattock, who leads Imperial's vaccination effort, said data on its effectiveness will be available by mid-next year.

Valneva (60 million doses)

Valneva's facility in Livingston, West Lothian will manufacture the vaccine. The clinical trials are expected to begin before the end of the year. The company expects it may receive an initial regulatory approval in the second half of 2021.

Russia (no cans)

The data from the second interim study for the Russian Sputnik V vaccine suggest that the sting provides 91.4 percent protection 28 days after the first dose, and the researchers say the figure is 95 percent 42 days after the first dose.

The Russian direct investment fund – the country's sovereign wealth fund – announced that the vaccine will cost less than $ 10 (£ 7) a dose for international markets and is expected to be available in February 2021.

The results, which are yet to be peer-reviewed, come from new data from clinical trials based on 39 confirmed cases and 18,794 patients.

It is not clear when the Sinovac vaccine will be available

It is not clear when the Sinovac vaccine will be available

China (no cans)

Preliminary studies suggest that a Chinese coronavirus vaccine candidate appears safe and elicits an immune response in healthy volunteers.

Phase 1/2 studies of an inactivated Sars-CoV-2 vaccine candidate – CoronaVac – recruited more than 700 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 59 in China between April 16 and May 5.

Based on preliminary results, the vaccine appeared to be safe and well tolerated at all doses tested.

The phase 3 studies with the vaccine will continue.

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