People across the country woke up to the news today that a coronavirus vaccine had been approved for use in the UK.

The vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech has been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and has been hailed as a "triumph".

The Pfizer vaccine, which is effective at reducing people's susceptibility to Covid-19, will begin to be rolled out across the UK early next week.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said that this means the UK was the first country in the world to have a "clinically authorised vaccine" to be able to roll out.

All the latest headlines and information on the approved vaccine can be found below.

Vaccine approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency

The announcement that the coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech had been approved by the MHRA for use in the UK, paving the way for mass vaccination to start, came on Wednesday morning (December 2).

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. 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."

The news has been hailed by politicians and scientists across the UK.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "It is the protection of vaccines that will ultimately allow us to reclaim our lives and get our economy moving again."

And Professor Arne Akbar, president of the British Society for Immunology, added: “This is a momentous day for us all."

The roll-out of the vaccination will begin next week

Matt Hancock said during a statement in the House of Commons that the roll-out of the vaccination will be co-ordinated across the whole of the UK and begin 'early next week'.

He said the government has 40 million doses pre-ordered for delivery over the coming months, enough for 20 million people because two jabs are required for each.

Mr Hancock then confirmed that batch testing had been completed on Wednesday morning for the first deployment of 800,000 doses of the vaccine.

He said that 50 hospitals across the country are already set up and waiting to receive the vaccine.

Vaccination centres will open 'very soon'

Mr Hancock said in the Commons that while we have 800,000 doses that have passed batch testing, the total number that will be produced in the future is not yet known.

He says vaccination centres will open ‘very soon’, but did not give a specific date.

The nine-stage priority list of who will get the Pfizer vaccine first has been confirmed

The first vaccine has been approved

The vaccine will be administered through care homes, GPs and pharmacists and in vaccination centres in large venues such as sports halls from next week and into the New Year.

Guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said older adults in care homes and staff in care homes should be first.

The confirmed list is as follows:

The Committee's advice is to offer vaccination to those aged 65 years and above followed by those in clinical risk groups aged 16 and over.

Calls for teachers to be on priority list

Calls have been made for teachers to be on the priority list for the Covid-19 vaccine.

School leaders say that those who work in education say school staff need to be among the first to get it as they believe it will help minimise the disruption to children's education.

Guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) says older adults in care homes and staff in care homes should be first.

It is very likely that NHS staff and patients will also be first to be vaccinated when the roll out begins next week.

A provisional priority list has been published, ranking according to clinical risk and age, but there is no mention of those who work in schools.

The unions have already made calls for teachers to make be prioritised, with Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU teaching union, saying: "School staff do need to be among those at the top of the queue when it comes to receiving a Covid vaccine."

Prime Minister hails 'very good news'

Boris Johnson has remained cautious

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the Commons the progress on a vaccine is "very good news" but "it is not the end of our national struggle" against Covid-19.

He said: "I think it is very important at this stage for us all to recognise that this is unquestionably good news. It’s very, very good news.

"It is by no means the end of the story, it is not the end of our national struggle against coronavirus and that is why it’s very important that the package of moderate but tough measures that the House voted for last night, the tiering system, is followed across the country because that’s how we will continue to beat the virus."

It has also been suggest the PM is prepared to be vaccinated 'live on TV' - but only if it did not prevent someone more in need of a jab from receiving one.

His press secretary Allegra Stratton told reporters: "We all know the character of the Prime Minister, I don't think it would be something that he would rule out.

"But what we also know is that he wouldn't want to take a jab that should be for somebody who is extremely vulnerable, clinically vulnerable, and who should be getting it before him."

New Covid controls for England will last for months until vaccine is generally available

The new tiered coronavirus controls for England, which cam into force on Wednesday, will have to remain in place for the "forthcoming few months" until a vaccine is generally available, the Health Secretary warned.

"The regulations that we passed last night with a substantial majority in the House of Commons, they will be in place for the forthcoming few months," he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

"But you can see now with confidence that from the spring onwards things are getting better.

"Between now and then we have got to hold our nerve, we have got to hold our resolve. We can see the dawn in the distance but we have got to get through to morning."

How people will find out if they will get vaccine first

The chief executive of NHS England has revealed how people will be notified whether they are able to get the coronavirus vaccine first.

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference this evening, Sir Simon Stevens confirmed that those at 'highest risk' would be vaccinated first.

If you are one of those people who is first in line, the hospital will get in touch with you, he confirmed. 

"You don't need to do anything about it yourself", Sir Simon Stevens added.

"That will be followed by GP practices in each area coming together to operate local vaccination centres and that will grow to 1,000 right across England.

"GPs will be in touch with their at-risk patients inviting them to come forward for vaccination.

"We've had an excellent response from GPs across the NHS wanting to participate in this programme.

"Then if the independent regulator give approval for a safe way of splitting these packs of 975 doses, the good news is that we will be able to start distributing those to care homes.

"Then as even more vaccine becomes available, finally, we will be able to switch on large vaccination centres across the country and invite local community pharmacists to begin to offer vaccination as well.

"We the NHS, your GP or the hospital, will contact you if you are to be offered the vaccination."

Andy Burnham urges public to trust Covid vaccine as it's approved by regulator

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham

Andy Burnham has urged the public to trust in the Pfizer and BioNTech coronavirus vaccine as it was approved by the UK's medicines regulator.

During a press conference on Wednesday, the Mayor of Greater Manchester emphasised the rigorous checks that will have been conducted before the vaccine was approved.

Mr Burnham drew on his own experience as former Health Secretary during the 2009 swine flu epidemic as he did so.

"I am one of very few people in the country who have had direct experience of the vaccine process during a pandemic and the processes that are taken to assess the safety and efficiency," he said.

"While there are things that can be done to quicken the process, I can absolutely give the assurance that nothing is ever done to cut corners in any way.

"I think it is really important for me to say that today as a former Health Secretary."

"They do it independently, thoroughly and people should have absolute confidence in the MHRA, who are in my view one of the world's leading medicines and vaccines regulators," he added.

Vaccine protection ‘seven days after second dose’

The “best immunity” from the new Covid-19 vaccine occurs from seven days after the second dose, experts said.

People who receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will receive two doses three weeks apart.

Those who are vaccinated will receive some level of protection around 12 days after the first jab.

But the best protection comes a week after the second dose is delivered.

Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, chair of Commission on Human Medicine expert working group, told a Downing Street press conference: “From the data that has been presented to us, people will be immune seven days after the second dose.

“Partial immunity does occur after the first dose. And we can see some protection occurring after day 12 of the first dose, but the best immunity is seven days after the second dose.”

Prime Minister warns of ‘logistical challenges’ to overcome for vaccine

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

The Prime Minister has insisted that Covid-19 vaccines will allow Britons to “reclaim our lives”, although he acknowledged there are “logistical challenges” to overcome.

Mr Johnson said during Prime Minister's Questions: “It does need to be kept at minus 70C, as I think the House understands, so there are logistical challenges to be overcome to get vulnerable people the access to the vaccine that they need.

“We are working on it with all four devolved administrations in order to ensure that the NHS across the country is able – and it’s the NHS that will be in the lead – to distribute it as fast and as sensibly as possible to the most vulnerable groups.”

Matt Hancock offers to be vaccinated live on TV to demonstrate safety

Health Secretary Matt Hancock offered to get vaccinated live on television to help convince people the coronavirus jab is safe.

He stressed that the order in which people received a vaccine would be determined by clinical need.

But said that if a televised inoculation would help persuade people of its safety then that would be “worth it”.

On ITV’s Good Morning Britain, presenter Piers Morgan made the suggestion for a televised injection.

Morgan said: “I’ll come to where you are anytime next week if we can do this. Let’s do it together, live on air. It would be powerful, it would send the right message.”

Mr Hancock said: “Well, we’d have to get that approved because, of course, there is a prioritisation according to clinical need and, thankfully, as a healthy, middle-aged man, you’re not at the top of the prioritisation.

“But if we can get that approved and if people think that’s reasonable then I’m up for doing that because once the MHRA has approved a vaccine – they only do that if it is safe.

“And so, if that can help anybody else, persuade anybody else that they should take the vaccine then I think it’s worth it.”