Coronavirus latest news: Covid will be with us forever despite Pfizer vaccine, claims Van-Tam

Professor Arne Akbar, President of the British Society for Immunology, has described the approval of the Pfizer vaccine in the UK as “a momentous day for us all”.

“This is a momentous day for us all. Covid-19 has impacted all our lives in so many ways and hope of an exit strategy has relied on a safe and effective vaccine. To achieve this within this timescale is remarkable and the researchers should be applauded.

“Although development of this vaccine has occurred rapidly, it’s important to emphasise that it will still have gone through all the rigorous safety tests, and validity of the data on effectiveness will have been assessed meticulously by the MHRA.”

While Dr John Tregoning, a reader in respiratory infections at Imperial, said: “This is great news and remarkable progress given the first cases were less than a year ago. It shows what progress can be made through science and innovation.

Dr Michael Head, a senior research fellow in Global Health at University of Southampton, said regulators have “clearly been satisfied” of the efficacy and safety of the vaccine.

“The Pfizer vaccine does require storage at around -70C, which will pose significant logistical challenges for all countries that choose to use it,” Dr Head said.

“These are not insurmountable but certainly challenging. Other vaccines, such as the Oxford AstraZeneca candidate, require storage at much lesser temperatures and will be simpler to transport. But, for now, this is wonderful news to wake up to.”