The Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech has been approved for use in the UK, and vaccinations are set to start next week.

The jab has been shown in studies to be 95 per cent effective and works in all age groups.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for use.

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“This follows months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA who have concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.

“The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) will shortly also publish its latest 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 vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week.”

Responding to the news that the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine has been approved by UK regulators, APPG on Coronavirus Chair Layla Moran MP said: “This is really promising news. The Government must be realistic and manage people’s expectations about when they can expect a jab. 

“It’s vital that we continue to suppress the virus and adopt a long-term exit strategy for coronavirus that avoids a devastating third lockdown early next year. The current tiers alone are not enough. 

“The experts have been clear that a vaccine is not a silver bullet. Now is the time to suppress and control coronavirus so that we can gradually eliminate it as more vaccines become available.”