Pfizer and BioNTech said Wednesday that the United Kingdom has approved emergency use of their coronavirus vaccine — the first time outside of clinical trials that anyone will have the chance to be inoculated.
A U.K. government spokesperson said the vaccine will be ready for British citizens next week, CNN reported.
“To aid the success of the vaccination program it is the vital everyone continues to play their part and abide by the necessary restrictions in their area so we can further suppress the virus and allow the National Health Service to do its work without being overwhelmed,” the spokesperson said, CNN reported.
The companies had previously signed an agreement to supply 40 million doses to the U.K. with delivery in 2020 and 2021.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla called the emergency authorization “a historic moment in the fight against COVID-19.”
As of Wednesday, roughly 64.2 million coronavirus cases and 1.5 million related deaths have been reported worldwide, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.