GIBRALTAR is hoping to get 35,000 doses of the Pfizer-Biotech COVID-19 vaccine ‘as soon as possible’, its government has confirmed.
Although the exact date is still unclear, the authorisation by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority has given the green light for its use in the UK.
The vaccine’s imminent arrival came as numbers of active cases on the Rock shrunk to 63 yesterday, seven who are recovering in hospital.
The Gibraltar Government said it was ‘delighted’ by the approval of the regulator in the UK.
“This is excellent news indeed, and I urge everyone to take up the opportunity to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at the earliest possible opportunity,” said Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.
“There is no better way to round off 2020 than with this extremely uplifting news, for which we have all been hoping for a long time now.
“My sincere thanks go out on behalf of all the people of Gibraltar to all scientists and regulators involved in preparing this vital vaccine for rollout.
“The vaccine is the first real step towards getting back to a more normal life and being reunited with our loved ones, not forgetting the very important lessons that this terrible pandemic has taught us.”
With a 95% effectiveness in trials, the vaccine could now be supplied via the NHS to the GHA after months of testing.
The first citizens to be vaccined will be the over-80s group as well as healthcare staff who look after them and the most vulnerable in the community.
However, until then, the Chief Minister urged people to ‘not let down our guard’.
“The virus is still out there and a vaccine is not a cure,” he said.
“Please, continue to protect yourself, your loved ones, our GHA and our economy.
“Wash your hands, wear a mask where you have to and keep a safe distance from others.”