The British government approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency use on Wednesday December 2, 2020. This marks the United Kingdom as one of the first nations to begin vaccinating their citizens for Covid-19. As with other nation’s plans for a vaccine roll out, in Britain, it will go to frontline healthcare workers and people in nursing homes fist. These vulnerable populations could be getting vaccines in their arms as early as next week. Pfizer (PFE) is up nearly 4% at market open on the news.
This is truly a historic moment for Pfizer and the scientific community at large. In less than one year since the virus began sickening people across the world en masse Pfizer, as well as other pharmaceutical companies, have developed efficabile vaccines. Previously, the fastest vaccine developed was the measles vaccine in the 1960s. A lot has changed in 50 years and the medical community took all of its available resources and rallied to achieve what some thought impossible.
Pfizer-BioNTech and the U.K. already had an agreement in place to supply 40 million doses of their vaccine. Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine is a two shot cocktail and with this supply of vaccine roughly one third of Britians will be vaccinated for Covid-19 shortly.
Time is of the essence as cases and hospitalizations due to the virus are rising across Europe and in the United States. The vaccine will hopefully styme the momentum of the virus and eventually get everything back to normal. While many leaders in both the U.S. and Europe have said that we could be in for a dark winter, the recent positive news about vaccines has given many hope and has fueled the financial markets in the U.S. to all time highs.