The British Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) granted emergency use approval just 23 days after Pfizer published the first data from its final-stage clinical trial. The vaccine is due to be rolled out next week in Britain.
US and EU regulators are sifting through the same Pfizer vaccine trial data, but have yet to give their approval. The Australian government has signed a deal to buy 10 million doses of the vaccine for Australia.
He has spoken with the Australian chief executive officer of Pfizer and the company remained on track for vaccine delivery “once it was approved for use in Australia by an independent regulator.”
“Pfizer continues to work with the Therapeutic Goods Administration, providing data for safety and efficacy as part of the approval process,” Mr Hunt’s statement read. “Our advice remains that the timeline for a decision on approval is expected by the end of January 2021, and our planning is for the first vaccine delivery in March 2021.”
Bourla said governments need to ensure that other measures are not relaxed in the meantime. “I think that it is important to use the vaccine as one tool,” he said, adding that “undeniably it’s going to be the most effective, with the most permanent impact.
“The time that we can go back to normality is not far away, but definitely it is not now,” he said.
Bourla, who is Greek, told a roundtable discussion of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, which included Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, that the distribution strategy of governments was key.
Governments “have to move in a very strategic way and they need to listen to the experts,” Bourla said.
Pfizer shares are up more than 3 per cent in late trade on Wall Street.
More to come