Virus to vaccine: Check out the countries that have already agreed to emergency use of COVID-19 vaccine
When 90-year-old Margaret Keenan received the globe’s first clinically authorised and tested vaccine for COVID-19 recently, the end of the outbreak seemed finally in reach. Tough months are waiting ahead but the rollout of the first vaccine in record time and the likely looming approvals of others, is a turning point for number of countries that can afford vaccines.
Just a week ago, no certified vaccine existed for the coronavirus. After the UK came ahead in the global race to begin mass vaccination against the disease by issuing an “emergency use approval” (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, there has been a burst of developments and suddenly there are a host of vaccines being rolled out around the world.
Vaccines are keenly anticipated and seen as a forceful weapon that will provide a major boost in the fight against the infection that first spread from Wuhan in China late last year.
Take a look at which countries have lined up their vaccination drive against the contagion:
The United Kingdom was the first Western country to approve a vaccine for emergency use and the first country around the world to approve Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on December 2. On December 8, the UK administered the first doses of the vaccine developed by the pharma giants. Though the vaccine candidate has been developed by pharma collaboration between the US and Germany, the UK raced past duo of them in giving approval.
In a recent development on Monday, with a quick jab of Pfizer vaccine to a nurse’s left deltoid, the USA came in a new phase in its fight against COVID-19. The injection to Sandra Lindsay’s arm at Long Island Jewish Medical Centre made her the first person from the nation to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. On Friday, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine got nod emergency-use authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The roll-out comes as the infection continues to hit the country.
With three COVID-19 vaccine candidates under active consideration of drug regulator, India is gearing up for its huge vaccination plan to provide the doses to the most vulnerable people in the next six to eight months. Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech have applied for market authorisation for their vaccines. The vaccination drive will start once India gives permission for emergency use of vaccine.
The COVID-19 vaccine will be first delivered to health care workers (1 crore), frontline workers (2 crore), and people over age of 50 (26 crore). After this, vaccines will be rolled out to those below 50 years of age who are suffering from a chronic critical illness (1 crore).
On December 9, Canada’s health regulator approved Pfizer vaccine. Canada is set to receive up to 2,49,000 doses in December and 4 million doses of the vaccine by March. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked all people in the continue to continue wearing masks, avoid mass gatherings and download a government-based app that allows permits to know if they have come in contact with an infected person.
Bahrain became the second nation to grant emergency-use authorisation to Pfizer vaccine. Bahrain recently had approved China’s Sinopharm vaccine as it had participated in phase III clinical trials. The island kingdom on Bahrain declared free COVID-19 vaccine for public. Bahrain’s neighbouring nation Kuwait has also authorised the use of Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE’s vaccine.
The Saudi Food and Drug Authority last week approved the Pfizer vaccine candidate for emergency use. Arab News cited Saudi Arabian channel Al-Ekhbariya to say that people can look forward to free, optional COVID-19 vaccination set to start before the end of the year following the Kingdom’s nod of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this week.
Mexico and Argentina
The Mexican government’s medical safety commission gave consent to the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine. Mexico is set to receive 2,50,000 doses of the vaccine, enough for 1,25,000 people, because each person needs two shots.
Meanwhile, President of Argentina Alberto Fernandez has declared his administration signed an agreement with Russia to receive the Sputnik V vaccine against the infection.
As per Asia Nikkei, Japan has already signed a deal with Pfizer and BioNTech in July to receive 120 million doses of their vaccine, the nation has been getting ready a mass vaccination plan. Japan needs to vaccinate its population of 125 million people, each with two shots, by the Olympic Games which is scheduled in July.
Israel has already received its first batch of vaccine from Pfizer and the mass vaccination drive will start from December 27, though the vaccine is yet to accept approvals from its regulatory body. Prime Minister Banjamin Netanyahu may receive the first vaccine in the state of Israel.